Cao Zhang is Cao Cao's fourth son who is said to have wrestled wild animals with his bare hands. His father nicknamed him "Yellow Beard". In his youth, he convinced his father to allow him to learn more in the ways of fighting and horseback riding rather than civil studies. When he was older, he commanded his own calvary unit in his father's northern territory. During Shu's Han Zhong campaign, Cao Zhang arrived to aid his father where he dueled Liu Feng, Liu Bei's adopted son, and defeated him.
When Cao Pi inheirited the throne, Cao Zhang led his army to the capital, entered alone and swore loyalty to his brother. During a meal, Cao Zhang's drink was poisoned, and he died minutes later.