Bean, Leon Leonwood

Born: Oct 13, 1872 AD
Died: 1967 AD, at 94 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: Businessmen

1872 - Born on the 31st of October. American outdoor goods businessman.

         - Founder of L.L. Bean, a retail and catalog company based in Freeport, Maine, specializing in outdoor equipment and clothing.

         - L.L. designed the original lightweight boot with leather tops and waterproof rubber bottoms, known today as the "Bean Boot".

1884 - Orphaned at age 12, Bean began to develop his entrepreneurial skills by doing odd jobs and by selling soap door-to-door.

1912 - Launched his company with the first Maine Hunting Shoe, he believed so strongly in the Golden Rule that he made it the foundation of his business.

         - L.L. began his business by working out of the 40' x 25' basement of his brother's shop.

1917 - The first showroom was opened in Freeport.

1920 - Bean opened a showroom store adjacent to his workshop, in accession to the demands of visitors.

1922 - Bean re-engineered the Maine Hunting Shoe by adding a split backstay to help eliminate chafing.

1923 - The company received welcome publicity when its boots were used to outfit the Macmillan Arctic Expedition.

1934 - The company had increased its factory size to over 13,000 square feet.

1937 - Sales surpassed the $1,000,000 mark. Leon Gorman noted decades later, "The most important legacy of L.L.'s genius was the power of his personality.

1951 - L.L. opened the store 365 days a year, 24 hours a day proclaiming, "We have thrown away the keys to the place."

1967 - Bean passed away on the 5th of February at the age of ninety-four.

         - Leon A. Gorman, his grandson, took over as president.
Page last updated: 2:59pm, 02nd Aug '07
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