She is the daughter of Zeus and the Titaness Metis ("wisdom"), who was said to be Zeus's first wife. Fearing a prophecy that any offspring with Metis would one day overthrow him, Zeus swallowed Metis, who, unknown to Zeus, was already pregnant. One day, he began to suffer headaches, and when Hephaestus cracked open his skull, Athena sprang full-grown and fully armed.
Notable Stories Involving Her:
Athena eventually became patron of Athens, after having competed with her uncle Poseidon for the title. Poseidon gave the citizens of the then-unnamed city a saltwater spring, and Athena gave them an olive tree, which provided food, oil, and wood. Finding Athena's gift infinitely more useful, the citizens named the city after her, making her its patron.
The owl and the olive tree are sacred to her, and her constant companion is Nike, goddess of victory.
Athena Around the World:
Her Roman equivalent is Minerva, though she's also been compared to the Egyptian Neith.
SOURCES: Greek Mythology.com, Mythweb, Encyclopedia Mythica, & Wikipedia