Francis D. Lyon Receives Oscar


As seen in The Scroll, May 1948

The winner of an Oscar in the recent competition is Francis D. ‘Pete’ Lyon, UCLA ’28, president of Omicron Province of Phi Delta Theta. Francis received the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award as supervising editor of the best-edited picture of 1947: Body and Soul, a United Artists release from Enterprise Studio featuring John Garfield and Lili Palmer.

Lyon went with Paramount Studios in Hollywood while a junior at UCLA, carrying a full course in school, handling his movie work, and being an active Phi, all at the same time. Following graduation, he went with the Mack Serinett Studio. In 1935 he combined an assignment for Alexander Korda Productions in England with a honeymoon, being married in that year to Ann Coursen, a Kappa Kappa Gamma of the UCLA class of 1932.

While in England, Lyon edited such pictures as The Shape of Things to Come, Knight Without Armor, and Rembrandt. During the last six months of the stay in Europe, the Lyons toured the Continent, returning to America in 1939 in time for Lyon to cut Intermezzo for the David O. Selznick Productions. He next edited The Great Profile, Four Sons, and a number of other films for Twentieth Century Fox.

After the outbreak of war, Lyon went with the Office of War Information in the film division and was shortly after a major in the Signal Corps of the US Army engaged in the production of training and other government films. He was stationed at Wright Field, then with the Frank Capra unit in Los Angeles, and for the next two years with the Signal Corps Photographic Center on Long Island, New York, where he headed several technical branches—editing, laboratory, and central War Department film library.

Lyon’s first picture after leaving the service was his Oscar-winning Body and Soul. The award was presented to him by film actress Ann Baxter at the annual presentation in the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on March 20. The Oscar is now displayed at the General Headquarters Building in Oxford.

Lyon has just signed with a new independent company to direct a picture based on Clarence Buddington Kelland’s story, House of Cards.

Pete is a perfect example of a busy man who still finds time to be of service to Phi Delta Theta, province president for Arizona, Nevada, and California at the present time. He covers chapter houses and alumni clubs throughout these states and is actively connected with the California Gamma Chapter at UCLA.

In 1995, Brother Lyon received Phi Delta Theta’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. He passed away in October of 1996, just a few weeks after he had established the Francis D. Lyon Graduate Fellowship that, to this day, is awarded by the Phi Delta Theta Foundation to students of filmmaking.