Fred Lyon was born in San Francisco in 1924. During WWII, Lyon served as a Navy photographer in Washington, D.C. His news and feature stories were released to wire services and national magazines. Lyon covered White House press events, and has captured five U.S. presidents during his career.
After the war Lyon moved to New York. At the Philip Wilcox Studios on Park Avenue, he was soon shooting for top New York fashion houses, where he became known for his easy, natural touch.
Lyon returned to California in 1946, building a freelance career with assignments from magazines such as House & Garden, Vogue, Glamour, Mademoiselle, Seventeen, Life and Look. By the late 50s, advertising photography became part of the mix.
Internationally known for his range of diversity, Lyon has made photographs for over fifty books. In 1949 the San Francisco Museum of Art gave him his first one-man show. He remarked, “It wasn’t the thrill I’d expected. I’d seen all the pictures before.”
By the 70s, Lyon began concentrating on the subjects he likes best: travel, food and wine. Working on the “Great Dinners” series for Life, he also shot the Viennese and Italian cookbooks for Life’s “Foods of the World” on location in Europe.