January 18, 1948 - June 12, 2015
Jim was raised in Oregon and graduated from Pendleton High School in 1966. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 1970, with a degree in Urban Geography. While at Oregon, Jim was a member of the track team that included Steve Prefontaine and was coached by the legendary Bill Bowerman. He was a sub-4 minute miler and was inducted into the University of Oregon Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.
Jim’s competitive spirit on the track led him to a pioneering role in the fledgling athletic footwear industry. While still training for the 1972 Olympic Trials, where he competed in the finals of the 1500 meter run, Jim began working for Blue Ribbon Sports, a small running shoe company started by his former coach Bill Bowerman and University of Oregon track alum Phil Knight. Blue Ribbon Sports eventually became Nike, the world’s largest sportswear company.
From humble beginnings managing Nike’s first company-owned retail store and hawking shoes out of the back of a Volkswagon van, Jim was instrumental in laying the foundation of Nike, rising to the level of Divisional VP over an 18 year career.
Besides his wife, he is survived by his three children: Nate Gorman of Portland, OR, Jered Gorman and his partner Shahleena Weller, of Seattle, WA, and Andrew Durkot of Washington, DC, and two precious granddaughters: Oakley Gorman of Portland and Ila Gorman of Seattle. He leaves two brothers, Daniel Gorman of Palmer, AK, and Matt Smith and his wife, Julie, of Pollock Pines, CA, and several nieces and nephews. James was preceded in death by his mother, Della Peck, and foster parents, Vivian and Norman McKeehan.
Jim was a loving, selfless and truly kind man with a gentle spirit. He leaves behind a legion of friends around the globe who will miss him dearly.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, June 18th, from 5-8 pm, at the Chesmore Funeral Home, 57 Hayden Rowe St., Hopkinton, MA. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, June 19th, at 11:00 am at St. Matthew’s Church in Southborough.
A Celebration of Life will be held in Portland, OR later this summer. In lieu of flowers, donations in James T. Gorman’s memory may be made to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Development Office, 116 Huntington Avenue, 3rd floor, Boston, MA 02116. This fund will be used to support Scleroderma related research.