Monday, December 19, 2005
Richard K. Lyon, 93, a general-practice lawyer in Washington since the 1930s who helped usher in home rule for the District as
a former president of the Washington Home Rule Committee, died Dec.18 at his home in Washington. The cause of death
was reported as failure to thrive.
The son of a Washington lawyer, Mr. Lyon began civic and charitable work as a young man. He was a
member of the Washington Junior Chamber of Commerce, the Community Chest and other groups.
Lawyer Richard K.
Lyon did much civic
He began his presidency of the Washington Home Rule Committee in the 1960s and remained
involved in the issue after the first mayoral election, in 1974, of Walter E. Washington under the Home
After the passage of home rule legislation, Mr. Lyon served for 26 years as a member of the D.C.
Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure.
Richard Kirshbaum Lyon was a native Washingtonian and a 1929 graduate and class valedictorian of
the old Central High School. He was a 1933 graduate of Dartmouth College and a 1935 graduate of
and class president at Georgetown University law school. He was a Navy veteran of World War II.
He spent 45 years as general counsel to the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Washington,
D.C., and was a former president of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington and vice
chairman of the D.C. Democratic Central Committee.
He was involved in a committee that helped organize the 1963 civil rights march on Washington and a
group that fostered racial integration in professional sports.
He represented the Jewish faith at President Lyndon B. Johnson's national candlelight service after the assassination of
President John F. Kennedy in 1963, and he received awards from the American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations
recognizing his civic work.
For many years, he and his second wife were antiques dealers.
His first wife, Marjorie Hausman Lyon, died in 1955.
Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Dorothy Weisberg Lyon of Washington; two sons from his first marriage, Simon M. Lyon
of Cincinnati and Richard H. Lyon of New York; a son from his second marriage, Jon W. Lyon of Washington; two
stepdaughters, Barbara W. Cooper and Patricia W. Coll, both of McLean; and eight grandchildren.