Zhu was born in Qinghe (present Qinghe County, Xingtai, Hebei). He started to serve in the private army of the warlord Yuan Shao, and was later sent to aid Cao Cao's army when Cao was attacking Tao Qian. He was impressed with Cao and decided to follow him. Therefore, he did not return to Yuan Shao but stayed with Cao. His army followed his decision and stayed with him.
However, Cao Cao did not like Zhu, as he used to serve Yuan Shao. Therefore, he never paid any attention to him and put him under the army of Yu Jin. Zhu did not show any disappointment or anger about Cao's treatment to him; on the contrary, he was known to be a fierce vassal and was listed among the best vassal in Cao's army.
After Cao Cao's death, his son, Cao Pi recognized his great effort. He was peered as the Marquis of Gaotang.