Though never referred to as such, Daniel was one of the greatest Old Testament prophets. He was born of royal lineage in Jerusalem during the reign of Josiah. A few years later, in the third year of the reign of King Jehoiakim, King Nebuchadnezzar's army beseiged Jerusalem, looted the temple build by Solomon, and on their way back to Babylon took with them a number of prisoners which included the teenage Daniel.
In Babylon, Daniel was selected to be trained for service in the palace of the King. In this time, he distinguished himself with his piety and his strict observance of the Mosaic law, and he gained the confidence and esteem of those who were over him.
Daniel's first great test came when he was required not only to interpret the meaning of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, but to do so without the king even telling him what the dream was. With the help of God, Daniel passed the test.
Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. The king said to Daniel, "Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery."
Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men. (Daniel 2:46-48)
Daniel held a very high position in the government for several years engaged in interpreting dreams and other assorted activities. When he was an old man, he was called in at the instance of the queen-mother to interpret the mysterious "handwriting on the wall", which interpreted the fall of the Babylonian dynasty to Darius the Mede.
After the taking of Babylon, Cyrus placed Darius on the throne. Daniel was given the office of first of the three presidents of the empire, and was thus practically at the head of affairs. His status however, incurred the jealousy of court officials who plotted to have him killed. He was cast into a den of lions, but was miraculously delivered, after which Darius issued a decree enjoining reverence for "the God of Daniel".
Daniel's final years produced more incredible prophecies, before he finally died, a faithful and obedient servant of God to the last.