John Lumic was an English businessman in the parrallel universe version of Earth, who was the head of Cybus Industries. Dying of a terminal illness and confined to a wheelchair, Lumic funded the experiments of Dr. Kendrick to create "immortal" cybernetic bodies for human beings to inhabit, which resulted in the creation of the parallel universe Cybermen. Lumic's efforts to persuade the British government to endorse his idea to (legally) cybernetically enhance himself and others proved fruitless. So he sent his henchman Crane to round up homeless people, whom the Cybus scientists converted into Cybermen.
Lumic used Britain's fad of wearing EarPods to control the minds of all its citizens, and have them report to the Cybus factory to be turned into more Cybermen. He was opposed by the Doctor and a small group of freedom fighters, and even his own underling Crane turned against him eventually, sabotaging his life support equipment.
Lumic's Cyberman bodyguards hurriedly ushered the dying man to the operating room, where he was converted into the Cybermen's new leader, the Cyber-Controller. Following the destruction of most of his Cyberman army, Lumic chased the Doctor, Rose Tyler and Peter Tyler to the roof of the Cybus building. They escaped by flying away in Lumic's own zeppelin, however Lumic attempted to climb up after them. He was killed when the rope ladder was cut, dropping him to his death.