Leon Gorman

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Leon Arthur Gorman (December 20, 1934 – September 3, 2015) was an American businessman and the president and Chairman of the Board for the clothing company L.L. Bean.


Gorman was born in Nashua, New Hampshire in 1934.[1] A graduate of Bowdoin College, Gorman began working at the company after three years of Navy destroyer service and a trainee job at Filene's department store. Gorman became president in 1967, after his grandfather Leon Leonwood Bean died. From that time until his presidency ended in 2001, Gorman helped pioneer the company's mail order business and saw an average annual 20% growth rate for the company. In 2001, Gorman decided to take the position of Chairman of the Board, leaving the position of CEO to Christopher McCormick, the first non-family member to assume the title, and in 2013, he became Chairman Emeritus when his nephew, Shawn Gorman, succeeded him as Chairman.[2]


Gorman was an active philanthropist, having made significant contributions in the public education sector. He was nominated trustee emeritus for Bowdoin College in 2002. In 2010 he was bestowed with the Bowdoin prize, an award given out every five years to the alumnus who has made the greatest contribution to the world.[3]

Having had a reported net worth of $860 million, as of 2012, and again in 2014, he was the wealthiest person living in the state of Maine.[4][5]


Gorman died of cancer in Yarmouth, Maine, on September 3, 2015, aged 80.[1][6] To honor his memory, L.L. Bean's flagship store closed its doors for the first time since 1967.[7] L.L.Bean announced a $125,000 donation to a new scholarship fund upon his death, representing about 2.5 years of tuition at his alma mater, Bowdoin College.[8]


  • Gorman, Leon (2006). L.L. Bean: The Making of an American Icon. Harvard Business Review Press. ISBN 1578511836.


  1. ^ a b Roberts, Sam (3 September 2015). "Leon A. Gorman, Who Made L. L. Bean a Household Name, Dies at 80". Retrieved 16 July 2017 – via NYTimes.com.
  2. ^ "About L.L. Bean: Company Leadership". L.L. Bean. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  3. ^ "L.L. Bean Chairman Leon A. Gorman '56 to Receive Bowdoin's Highest Honor". Bowdoin College News. September 23, 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  4. ^ Kim, Susanna (October 24, 2012). "The Wealthiest Person in Each State". ABC News. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  5. ^ Short, Kevin (July 31, 2014). "Here Is The Richest Person In Each State". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  6. ^ ABC News. "Leon Gorman, LL Bean's Grandson and Company Leader, Dies". ABC News.
  7. ^ "Rarity for rare leader: L.L. Bean closes stores to remember Leon Gorman". pressherald.com. 13 September 2015.
  8. ^ Press, The Associated (1 October 2015). "L.L. Bean announces donations in Leon Gorman's name - Portland Press Herald". Retrieved 16 July 2017.

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