Fans of Empire know that Lucious Lyon is not only the head of the Lyon dynasty but one of the most influential people in the music industry. Though he looks like he has it made now, life was definitely not easy for the mogul. In fact, he came from some very rough beginnings.
As the show has taken its time removing the different layers of this rather complicated onion, fans have gotten the chance to see what made the man he’s become. Here are five fast facts about Lucious Lyon that may surprise you!
1. That’s not my name
Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) hasn’t always been known as Lucious Lyon. In fact, the patriarch of the Lyon family’s real name is actually Dwight Walker. However, he decided to change his name to ‘Lucious Lyon’ when he was a kid because he didn’t think he’d survive on the streets with a name like Dwight Walker.
2. City of Brotherly Love
Though the Lyon family now resides in New York City, Lucious was born and grew up in Philadelphia. He finally decided to move to New York when he was older to pursue his music career.
3. Rough Start
Life wasn’t easy for Lucious in the beginning. In fact, his father was murdered and his mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder while he was just a kid. It was scary for him at times as he tried to deal with what the disease did to her.
4. Bonnie & Clyde
Lucious met Cookie — the woman who would mother his future dynasty — in Philadelphia and she helped him sell drugs in order to fund his music career. Unfortunately, Cookie was arrested and had to go to jail for 17 years, which meant Lucious was forced to raise their three kids without her.
5. Secret illness?
Lucious was diagnosed with ALS back in Season 1 and kept it a secret. The diagnosis was heartbreaking for him as he tried to figure out which of his sons deserved to inherit Empire Enterprises. It ended up being a misdiagnosis. Lucious was then diagnosed with a chronic illness called Myasthenia Gravis, which is treatable.