Campus News

Bowdoin Breakfast Speaker: Leon Gorman '56

Story posted October 10, 2007

Leon Gorman '56, chairman of the board, L.L. Bean, Inc., spoke at the Bowdoin Breakfast on Wednesday, October 10, 2007. The title of Gorman's talk, "The Making of an American Icon," echoes that of his book, a business biography in which Gorman details L.L. Bean's origins and its ascension to legendary status.

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Gorman was appointed president of L.L. Bean, Inc., in 1967 following the death of his grandfather, Leon Leonwood Bean, who founded the company in 1912. Under Gorman's leadership, L.L. Bean went from a $4.75 million company to a billion-dollar enterprise. In 2001, he was named chairman of the board, turning over his responsibilities as president and CEO to Chris McCormick.

Gorman graduated from Bowdoin in 1956, served in the Navy for three years and joined L.L. Bean a year later. Gorman's 34 years as president are detailed in L.L. Bean: The Making of an American Icon, (Harvard Business School Press, 2006).

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