Chris Hughes was born to Bob and Kim Hughes and had a very uneventful childhood. Chris grew up in a home of financial and emotional security. At some point, that security started to stifle Chris and he rebelled against authority. Chris was expelled from Columbia University for cheating and transferred to Oakdale University. He didn't fare much better at Oakdale U. and concentrated on his personal life rather than his studies. While living at home, he continually angered his father by his irresponsible behavior and they both agreed that it was time for him to move out. After dropping out of school, Chris started a scandal by having an affair with Molly Conlan. Molly, however, put a stop to the affair in order to avoid any impropriety.
Soon after, Chris met a 16 year old girl who called herself Daisy. Chris found himself very drawn to this intelligent and sensitive girl and soon they started dating. Later, Chris was shocked to learn that Daisy was actually Abigail, Molly's long-lost daughter. Abigail brought out Chris's interest in literature and he decided to return to school part-time to study writing. Believing that Abigail will never understand nor forgive him sleeping with her mother, Chris convinced Abigail to keep their relationship a secret. Unfortunately, Chris's worst fears were realized when the truth about he and Molly came out. Holden forbade Chris from seeing Abigail and Abigail told Chris that it was over between them. After breaking up with Abigail, Chris decided to focus on his family and helped Tom spy on Emily Stewart to make sure Emily wouldnít seek custody of their son. In time, Chris began to sympathize with Emily and the two made love. When Tom found out, he went ballistic. Chris stood his ground and told Tom that he was in love with Emily and was shocked when Emily told him she didn't share his feelings. Unnerved by everyone's reaction to the affair, Chris decided to get his life together and returned to college to get his degree in medicine.
After graduating from medical school, Chris returned to Oakdale and started his internship under the watchful eye of his supervisor, John Dixon. Immediately upon returning, Chris started looking in on his young cousin, Will Munson, who was in the psychiatric ward for arson. Though his investigation into Will's case led to Alison Stewart confessing to the crime and Will being exonerated, it also earned him John's wrath and John reminded Chris that he was a doctor and had no business poking his nose in places he didn't belong. After taking his grandmother's advice and apologizing to John, Chris resumed his internship at Memorial. However, things at Memorial were about the get rocky. After helping Alison with some dangerous bullies at the correctional facility where she was sent to, he continued to befriend her when she got a job at the hospital after being released early. Though charmed by Alison, Chris tried to tell her that she was much too young for him and fought his attraction to her. While Chris was trying, not too successfully, to fight his attraction to Alison, Memorial was rocked by a series of unexplained murders. Chris became increasingly concerned because he believed that the murderer was fellow intern Dr. "Gordo" Gordon, who was also interested in Alison.
Also under suspicion was Dr. Ric Decker, Alison's mother's boyfriend and Bob's doctor. Later, Bob was attacked and left comatose and Gordo wound up dead! Though Dr. Decker immediately came under suspicion, things changed when he was attacked as well. Despite this, Alison still didn't trust Ric and told Chris that she thought he was the killer. In the end, Chris began to realize that Alison was right and they tried to gain access to Ric's safety deposit box in order to obtain evidence against him. Though they were caught in the act of notarizing a fake death certificate by Tom, Alison made off with the fake document and gained access to the box. Unfortunately, Ric caught her in the act, kidnapped her, and attempted to murder her. By this time, Bob had recovered and named Ric as his attacker. In the end, Ric was apprehended and Chris, who ended up rescuing Susan and Alison from Ric, realized how much he loved Alison. Soon afterward, the two made love.
Unfortunately, just as she was in a mature relationship, Alison let jealousy get the better of her. Jealous of Chris's closeness to Katie Frazier, after her husband's apparent death, Alison lied to Mike Kasnoff so that she could be alone with Chris, who was supposed to be looking after a depressed and ill Katie. Unfortunately, Alison's plan resulted Katie and Mike having an argument and a medicated Katie leaving the house and accidentally hitting Mike with her car. Although Mike turned out to be alright, Chris decided that perhaps Alison was too immature for him after all and ended the relationship. The next day, Chris showed up at Alison's door and suddenly realized that she'd been with another man, although he didn't know who it was. Deciding that perhaps he was right about Alison, Chris further distanced himself from her and later made plans to leave Oakdale for a job in Philadelphia. However, once gone, he realized how much he missed Alison and returned on Thanksgiving. Soon after, he learned that Alison was pregnant!
Though she insisted that Aaron Snyder (the man she had been with earlier) was the father, Chris wasn't so sure and demanded that she undergo a sonogram to determine the time of conception. Though the sonogram initially showed that the baby was born in late October (thus Aaron was the father), Chris later learned that the tests had been altered! Realizing that he was the father of Alison's baby, Chris followed Aaron to Chicago in order to talk to Alison. Deathly afraid that Chris would have her declared an unfit mother, Alison ran off to the fire escape to get away. Chris followed and as she was poised on the ladder, he tried to reassure her that he had no intention of taking her baby away. Just as he was able to convince Alison to come off the ladder, and put his arm out to help her, Alison fell! It was at this point that Aaron rushed out to the roof and, from his perspective, he saw Alison fall after Chris lunged at her! Tragically, the fall caused Alison to lose her baby and Aaron made sure he told everyone what he thought he saw--Chris pushing Alison off the roof. Later, at the hospital, a distraught Alison had no clear memory of what exactly occurred, leaving the police to believe Aaron's version of events. However, after some time, Alison's memory started to clear and she finally remembered what happened. Now exonerated, Chris professed his love for Alison and the two made plans to move in together.
Although they found a fabulous, and expensive, condo, the problem was that it was still under construction. So, needing a place to stay, they accepted Chris's parents' offer to stay with them. After a tense few months, tense because Alison's youthful impulsiveness tended to grate on Kim's nerves, the condo was finally finished. Unfortunately, it had sustained flood damage. Wanting to help Chris out so that they could afford a new place, Alison suggested getting a second job at Metro, where Aaron was working. Chris, however, was adamantly against that idea. That didn't stop Alison, who was determined to help Chris by saving money. Secretly getting a job as a waitress at Metro, Alison snuck around for weeks, lying to Chris about her whereabouts and what she was doing. Although she did her best to cover her tracks, she only ended up spinning a more elaborate web of lies. Finally, the truth came out, but to Alison's surprise Chris forgave her. In addition, Chris finally tired of his mother's condescending attitude toward Ali and the pair moved out of the Hughes house and moved into Susan's. Not long after, Chris surprised Ali by proposing marriage. Although Ali was wary about whether they should take this big of a step, Chris convinced her to accept his proposal and the two made plans to marry. As he and Ali were planning their wedding, Chris decided to enter a newspaper contest called "The 10 Keys to the Kingdom." His hope was to win and give the money to Alison, whom he knew was trying to win the contest herself to get money for their future. An unlikely person had the same idea--Emily--and the pair decided to pair up in order to win the contest. However, working together caused old feelings to resurface for both of them. Soon, Emily became all Chris could think about. Although Ali noticed his distraction and disinterest, she took the cause to be disinterest in her.
Wanting to honor his commitment to Ali, Chris assured her continuously that he wanted to marry her. However, at the same time, he found himself drawn to Emily. Although Emily continually insisted they had to keep their distance from each other in order to preserve her marriage and relationship with Alison, Chris's attraction to Emily seemed to override his devotion to Alison. Although Chris and Emily's intense attraction remained lost on Ali, it wasn't lost on Aaron who caught the pair kissing passionately one day. Although the pair tried to downplay what Aaron saw, Aaron suspected the truth but kept quiet in order to avoid hurting Ali. At the same time, a series of disasters plagued the planning of Ali's wedding. Though Ali started to be convinced that these were bad omens, Chris continued to assure her that everything would be fine and they would marry. Although he knew that his feelings for Emily were overwhelming him, Chris decided to stick to his commitment to Ali, despite advice from his father to end it if he was having doubts. While Chris finally heeded Bob's advice, it was at the worst possible time--while he and Alison were standing at the altar ready to exchange vows. While he was being honest, Chris then informed Emily's husband, Hal that he was in love with his wife! Horrified that Chris would just impulsively blurt that out, Emily confessed all to Hal and pled forgiveness. To her surprise, he understood and forgave her. On the other hand, Ali refused to forgive either Emily or Chris. With his relationship with Alison over, Chris saw no reason to stay in Oakdale and accepted a job with a Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh.
At some point, Chris left Pittsburgh to work at a refugee camp in Africa. Afterwards, he went to Europe where he hooked up with none other than Emily. The pair returned to Oakdale and surprised everyone with their renewed relationship. Meanwhile, Chris accepted his father's offer to return to Memorial as head of research. Immediately, Chris was at loggerheads with his father over a research project conducted by Evan Walsh IV. While Chris felt the project was cutting-edge and would help people in the end, Bob felt it was way too risky. While Emily encouraged Chris, and even helped by printing a story condemning Bob for his closed minded reaction to the project, Dusty Donovan sided with Bob and warned that if the project was approved, he would pull the Jennifer Munson Foundation out of Memorial. At the same time, Evan was threatening to take his project to Harvard. Chrisís ambitions caused him to threaten to leave town if the research project wasnít funded. Finally, Bob had enough of his sonís argumentative attitude and fired him from Memorial. That same day, Bob was left comatose following a stroke and despite Dustyís objections, Chris, who told no one of the huge argument he had with Bob, was sworn in as interim Chief of Staff. Defying his fatherís wishes, Chris approved Walshís project. Soon, Dusty began accusing Chris of causing Bobís stroke which Chris vehemently denied.
Unfortunately for Chris, Dusty was relentless and tried to convince everyone that Chris was a threat. Chris was becoming more and more angry at Dustyís accusations and felt that he was trying to ruin his life because he was jealous of him and Emily. Finally, came the night of the unveiling of the Walsh research project. Before heading off to the hospital for the contract signing, Chris received an anonymous note that left him upset. The letter stated that Emily worked as a high priced call girl. Chris angrily declared that whoever was responsible would be sued for slander and Emily was forced to admit that it was the truth. Visibly disgusted, Chris wrote her out of his life. That same night, Dusty was murdered. Weeks later, Chris was horrified to learn that Evan killed Dusty, who found out that Evan had poisoned Bob in an effort to get his project approved at Memorial. Humbled at having put his faith in a madman, a remorseful Chris apologized to Bob, who finally emerged from his coma after six weeks.
Months later, Chris resumed his friendship with Alison. Soon things between Alison and Chris started to get romantic but, although she wanted to go to bed with him, at the last moment she backed out out of fear. Chris was amazingly gentle and assured Alison that there was no pressure. Soon after, Alison confessed a dark secret to Chris. While she was in California, she turned to drugs and worked as a porn star. Chris was amazingly understanding and applauded Alison for being honest with him. At the same time, Chris noticed the excellent work that Alison was doing at the hospital and convinced her that she should be a nurse. Alison quickly warmed up to the idea and entered the nursing program. Though the course work was overwhelming her, Alison refused any help from Chris.. Though Alison almost flunked out as soon as she started when she missed her first test, thanks to Chris, she was given a make-up exam. Meanwhile, Alison, for the third time, unexpectedly backed off from having sex with Chris. Not long after, she informed him that she only wanted to remain friends, stating that she wanted to concentrate on her studies. Upset, Chris threw Alisonís porn star past in her face. In the midst of this, Alison continued to confide in Aaron, even sharing her elation when she passed (barely) her lab work. Meanwhile, Chris went looking for Alison at the Snyder farm and found her wearing one of Aaronís shirts. Chris automatically assumed that she and Alison made love. That same day, the head of the nursing program expressed concerns to Chris about Alisonís class performance. Chris told the woman to do whatever she wanted. As a result, Alison was kicked out of the nursing program.
Believing that Chris used his influence to get Alison kicked out of the program, Aaron convinced Ali that she should sue for sexual harassment. Alisonís animosity toward Chris made him very uncomfortable and he vindictively requested that she be removed from patient care. Unfortunately, Chrisís actions only made Alison more determined to fight him, despite warnings that it could get ugly. Acting as Chrisís lawyer, Tom was ready to use Alisonís porn star past against. Though Chris gave Tom the go-ahead, at the last minute, he reconsidered. Chris then perjured himself on the stand by telling the judge that on the day of Alison's dismissal, he told the head of the nursing program that he believed that Alison be a good nurse. As a result, Alison lost her case and branded Chris a coward.
Not long after, Chris admitted that heíd lied and Alison was re-admitted into the nursing program. Soon after, Alison received a present in the mail that she believed came from her father. It was a bracelet. Immediately after putting on the bracelet, Alison began acting erratically by lashing out at Aaron for no reason. At the same time, Chris received a present as well, supposedly from Kim--a watch. Alisonís behavior became more and more erratic and eventually led her to try to commit suicide in the Snyder pond. Luckily, Chris saved her but Alison had no memory of what happened. Soon, an unidentified toxin was found in Alisonís blood and Chris made it his mission to find out what it was. Unfortunately, Chris was behaving erratically himselfófirst by stripping and finally by attacking Aaron. The unidentified toxin was found in Chrisís blood as well and Bob was worried that there was a virus at work and quarantined the hospital. When Kim mentioned that the new watch he thought she sent him was not from her, he became suspicious and analyzed itóthe watch was laced with the toxin! Chris quickly figured out that Alison was poisoned too by bracelet and Emily was poisoned by her perfume. It didnít take Chris long to figure out who was responsibleóRick Decker! Knowing that Decker, under guard, was at Memorial trying to find an antidote to the poison, Chris figured out that Rick was the one responsible. Finally, things came to a head with Decker taking an unconscious Alison hostage. Luckily, Chris was able to rescue Alison from Rick and developed an antidote to the poison, saving Alison from death.
Soon after, Chris was dismayed when Alison and Aaron got engaged. Though his and Alison's attraction was strong, and collimated in a one night stand the night before her wedding, Alison went ahead and married Aaron.Later, in a fit of anger, Chris blurted out the indiscretion to Aaron earning him Alison's wrath. Realizing that Alison and he were truly over, chris left Oakdale since he could not bear to be in the same town with her.
A few years later, Chris returned to town and tried to rekindle things with Alison. However, Alison felt that too much damage had been down. At the same time, Chris renewed his friendship with the recently widowed Katie.As the weeks went by, Katie confided in Chris about the loss of her husband, Brad. Katieís vulnerability touched Chris and he soon developed feelings for her. However, Katie was determined to get Chris and Alison back together. Finally, when Chris was accidentally hit by a car, he professed his love to Alison, believing that she was Katie. Later, when Katie tried to avoid Chris's professions of love, he accused her of being afraid to let Brad go. A few weeks later, Chris asked Katie for a reason to decline a mission in Haiti, and she persuaded him to stay in town, even though she still wasn't ready to progress their relationship. Later, Katie was skittish when Margo and Tom invited Katie and Chris to the Hughes cabin. Tom and Margo canceled, but Katie didn't tell Chris that until they'd arrived. As Katie and Chris made out, he experienced chest pains. Though Chris downplayed his sickness, Dr. Oliver Reid caught Chris at Memorial testing his own blood samples for a rare disease. Chris swore Dr. Reid to secrecy and kept the news from his family and Katie. After Chris and Katie made love for the first time, his condition worsened. Soon after, Chris finally found the courage to tell Katie about his condition. Meanwhile, Reid called in a specialist who was none other than Dr. John Dixon. John convinced Chris to reveal the truth to his family and informed Chris that his heart was failing fast and needed a transplant.
The same day that Chris collapsed, Reid was involved in a fatal car crash. Before dying, Reid requested that Chris be given his heart. Later, Chris awakened, anxious to see Reid. Upon overhearing someone in the hall discussing Reid's death, Chris confronted Katie about the donated heart. Katie revealed that he'd received Reid's heart during the transplant operation. A guilt-ridden Chris refused to accept that Reid had died because of him, but Katie demanded that Chris repay Reid with life-long joy and happiness. Chris took her advice and asked Katie to marry him. Wanting to make a fresh start with Chris, Katie moved out of the house she shared with Brad and moved into Tom and Margoís house with Chris.