Kier Eagan is the visionary founder and first CEO of Lumon. He acted as the company's CEO from 1865 to 1939, with his descendants taking up the position afterwards. Many of the employees at Lumon hold him in the highest esteem.
Little is known about Kier's family and early life. According to Kier, his skin was susceptible to bruising as a child due, in part, to his parents' “close biological relationship.” The exact biological relation of his parents is unknown. Before age 12, Kier battled a severe case of tuberculosis, also known as consumption. The experience was so significant in his life that it was later depicted in a painting known as The Youthful Convalescence of Kier.
Despite his health vulnerabilities, Kier exhibited a strong work ethic at an early age. He held his first job at age 12, stuffing chairs for a furniture tycoon named Edgare Willit. Young Kier walked the seven miles to and from the job each day, and he characterized Willit as a sadistic employer who routinely beat the workers with the leg of a dresser. This introduction into the workforce made a lasting impression on Kier and was often romanticized in his later writings about “the heart of the workplace.”
While working as a stewman in an ether factory, Kier met a swab girl named Imogene Eagan whom he later married. An artistic interpretation of this scene is depicted in the painting The Courtship of Kier and Imogene.
Kier served as a military doctor in his early 20s, presumably during the American Civil War, although the extent and nature of his deployment is unknown. It is believed that Kier witnessing the agony and suffering of wounded soldiers provided his initial impetus for Lumon. In 1865, Kier founded Lumon Industries and thus began his preternatural 74-year tenure as the company's CEO. Lumon flourished under Kier, evolving from a humble pharmaceutical company into an influential pioneer in the biotechnology industry. Kier remained CEO of Lumon until is death in 1939.
Kier dedicated large amounts of his work to his philosophy that a life of service equated to the highest form of love. He embedded this idea in the formation of Lumon's corporate canon, and he dictated his ideas about “corporate affection” and his nine core principles in scripture-like doctrine that continues to guide Lumon employees to this day. To Kier, the love between worker and employer was more sacred and self-less than romantic love.
One of Kier's most influential works was his theory on taming the four tempers of the human soul. According to Kier:
In my life, I have identified four components, which I call tempers, from which are derived every human soul. Woe. Frolic. Dread. Malice. Each man's character is defined by the precise ratio that resides in him. I walked into the cave of my own mind, and there I tamed them. Should you tame the tempers as I did mine, then the world shall become but your appendage. It is this great and consecrated power that I hope to pass on to all of you, my children.
Kier believed evenly-tamed tempers were the key to achieving the “purity of mind” that he demanded of all those under his employ.
On paper, the town of Kier, PE seems to have been developed into a living legacy to Kier's name and likeness, honoring the Lumon founder and the extended Eagan family in local business names and public statues. Even still, the full reach of Kier's legacy and impact beyond the walls of Lumon remains somewhat of a mystery.
Kier's writings continue to be a prominent and guiding pillar inside present-day Lumon, but it is unclear how much of Kier's work (if any) has been published or made accessible for broader public consumption. Lumon has memorialized Kier's writings and words within the office through excerpts in internal publications, quotes on wall placards, and exhibits in the Perpetuity Wing. However, a complete set of Kier's original, undoctored texts are not publicly available, thus making it virtually impossible to verify the authenticity of any works accredited to Kier.
The light of discovery shines truer upon a virgin meadow than a beaten path.
Be ever merry.
Keep a merry humor in your heart.
The surest way to tame a person is to let him believe he’s free.
Tame thy tempers.
Let not weakness live in your veins.
We must be cut to heal.
The remembered man does not decay.
Tame in me the tempers four that I may serve thee evermore. Place in me the values nine that I may feel thy touch divine.
Render not my creation in miniature.
Be content in my words and dally not in the scholastic pursuits of lesser men.
And I shall whisper to ye dutiful through the ages, in your noblest thoughts and epiphanies shall be my voice. You are my mouth, and through ye, I will whisper on when I am 10 centuries demised.
I dug inside of soldiers and within them, found the war.
I know that death is near upon me, because people have begun to ask what I see as my life’s great achievement. They wish to know how they should remember me as I rot. In my life, I have identified four components, which I call tempers, from which are derived every human soul. Woe. Frolic. Dread. Malice. Each man’s character is defined by the precise ratio that resides in him. I walked into the cave of my own mind, and there I tamed them. Should you tame the tempers as I did mine, then the world shall become but your appendage. It is this great and consecrated power that I hope to pass on to all of you, my children.