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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, when 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.
Gorman is 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 the Bowdoin prize, an award given out every five years to the alumnist who has made the greatest contribution to the world.
With a reported net worth of $860 million dollars, he is currently the wealthiest person living in the state of Maine.
- L.L. Bean: The Making of an American Icon (2006)
- U.S. Public Records Index Vol 1 & 2 (Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.), 2010.
- "L.L. Bean Chairman Leon A. Gorman '56 to Receive Bowdoin's Highest Honor". Bowdoin College News. September 23, 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
- "http://abcnews.go.com/Business/richest-person-state/story?id=17543520#.UIgKT674Igo". October 24, 2012.