Inducted in 1996
Leon Bean
Born on October 13, 1872 in Greenwood, Maine
Kents Hill Academy, 1893

Like Colt to pistolry and Yale to locks, the name L.L. Bean is to outdoors equipment as a timeless symbol of New England-bred quality known throughout the world.

And generations of sportsmen and sportswomen owe much to the ideals as well as craftsmanship of the Freeport company's founder.

Growing up in Maine's Western mountains near Bethel and orphaned at age 13, Leon L. Bean worked on farms and put himself through Kents Hill School.

The future hunting-fishing-camping icon learned the shoe manufacturing and general merchandising business in a stint at Bangor and eventually managing his brother Otho's clothing store in Freeport.

L.L. started his own business of manufacturing hunting shoes and other outdoor gear in 1911. Dissatisfied with the standard hunting boot on the market from personal experience as uncomfortable and inadequate, L.L. came up with the idea of stitching a rubber shoe to leather uppers. After a trial-and-error period, he came up with the right formula, put out a catalogue for mail order business and the rest is universally pleasant history.

The Bean Boot and other gear symbolize Maine's best the world over.

As his business steadily grew, L.L. never lost sight of the values instilled in his upbringing and the objective of helping make outdoor activity an enjoyable experience for his customers.

With this in mind, he personally tested each item, and if a product didn't stand up to normal wear, it was cheerfully replaced gratis.

As the Bean company expanded many fold after L.L.'s death at age 94 in 1967, with grandson Leon Gorman in charge, the example of the company's founder is furthered, among various benefactions, by the series of Bean-sponsored clinics aimed at improving the public's understanding and enjoyment of the outdoors.

The L.L. legend, that has drawn presidents and other statesmen among its legions of customers, and his generous legacy are very much alive!

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Maine Sports Hall of Fame
P.O. Box 2
Cumberland, ME 04021

Phone (207) 807-7666

Our Mission

The Maine Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1972 for the purpose of: 1) appointing and bestowing recognition awards and scholarships to outstanding Maine high school scholar-athletes; and, 2) to formally honor and memorialize Maine athletes and sports figures who have brought distinction and honor to the state of Maine.

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