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.
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 the Bowdoin prize, an award given out every five years to the alumnus who has made the greatest contribution to the world.
With 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.