John Lyon Collyer was born at Chelsea-on-Hudson, New York in 1893, to a family of shipbuilders and boat operators. He attended Cornell University and graduated in 1917 with a degree in mechanical engineering. During these years he was a member and later coach of the crew team. He took a job with Bethlehem Steel in their Wilmington shipyards. In 1923, he accepted the vice-presidency of the English-owned Dunlop Tire and Rubber Company in Buffalo, New York, and worked his way to the position of co-managing director of Dunlop's international operations. In 1930 he married Georgia Forman Elliot, a widow with two children. Collyer and his wife had a daughter, Georgia, in 1930. At this time he moved to England, continuing to work for Dunlop until 1939, when he moved back to the U.S. to assume the presidency and chief executive position at B.F. Goodrich Co., in Akron, Ohio. He
contributed greatly to the development and production of synthetic rubber, a material in great demand in World War II. Collyer served in this position with Goodrich for 25 years, and was on the board of directors of several corporations, including Cornell University. A benefactor of Cornell, he gave the Collyer Boathouse on Cayuga Lake inlet. Collyer died in 1979 at Vero Beach, Florida.
Cornell University Class of 1917.