Leon Leonwood

Those are the first two names of the founder of L.L. Bean, the giant U.S. outdoors goods company, which started inauspiciously in 1912 by offering refunds to its first 100 customers. Jerry Harkavy of the Associated Press writes about how L.L. Bean pulled itself up by its boot laces and survived potential bankruptcy in the 1960s to emerge as a massive player in the outdoors market. He also talks about the book L.L. Bean: The Making of an American Icon (Harvard Business School Press, 336 pages) just completed by L.L. Bean’s CEO of 34 years and L.L. Bean’s grandson, Leon Gorman.
By the way, L.L. Bean doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves for publishing good fly fishing books. One worth mentioning is Macauley Lord’s very popular L.L. Bean Fly-Casting Handbook, which is coming out in a revised edition in March. We’ll be excerpting the new book on MidCurrent within the next few weeks.

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