Remembering Leon Gorman
In September, the National Park Foundation was saddened to say goodbye to a longtime supporter and lover of the outdoors: Leon Gorman, former CEO and the Chairman Emeritus of L.L.Bean. Leon was deeply committed and personally passionate about the family values in the company culture as the grandson of the eponymous founder of L.L.Bean.
Acadia National Park was among Leon’s favorite outdoor recreation places in Maine. He and his family created many fond memories while cross-country skiing and biking on the carriage trails in the park. His extended family regularly gathered together at Acadia for meetings that combined business and outdoor recreation.
This tradition of family in the park continued for years, passing down Leon’s love of Acadia from generation to generation.
The family and personal time spent in Acadia fueled a lifelong commitment to the park and the environment. His personal philosophy was that being a good steward of the environment was as important as enjoying time in the outdoors. This was reflected in his personal acts of generosity as well as through L.L.Bean’s corporate philanthropy to Acadia and to the National Park Foundation.
Together, L.L. Bean and the National Park Foundation have been able to connect more young people to our national parks and inspire a new generation to share our love and stewardship of the great outdoors.
“It was very clear that he took a deep personal interest in efforts to ensure that Maine’s special places were not only conserved, but also made available for enjoyment by the public,” said David MacDonald, President of Friends of Acadia, a non-profit that preserves, protects, and promotes stewardship of Acadia National Park and surrounding communities. “His commitment to conservation extended far beyond Acadia,” MacDonald continued, leaving “a legacy on state parks and natural areas throughout Maine, as well as other national parks throughout the nation.”
Leon’s support of Acadia and the Foundation is an inspiring example of how Americans can enhance our most treasured and important places at the times and in the ways they need it most. The 2016 Centennial of the National Park Service presents the perfect opportunity to get out and find your park.
National parks belong to all of us. For nearly 100 years, the American people have helped the National Park Service preserve, protect, and nurture these sites. This tradition of generous, committed philanthropy continues today and is critical to the success and longevity of our national parks.
Supporters of America’s national parks share a common trait: a passion for caring for the nation's special places and sharing their stories. As we approach the centennial of the National Park Service in 2016, the Foundation is excited to work with Americans to carry on this incredible legacy.