Linda Bean, L.L. Bean Heiress and Big-Time Trump Donor, Dies at 82

Gordon Chibroski/Getty Images
Gordon Chibroski/Getty Images

Linda Bean, a major Republican booster and the granddaughter of Leon Leonwood Bean—who founded the outdoor clothing and equipment brand L.L. Bean—has died at age 82, her business manager confirmed on Sunday.

A cause of death remains unclear.

“Linda was known for her amazing work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit as well as her pride and dedication to her home state of Maine and L.L.Bean, the company her grandfather founded,” Veronika Carlson, her business manager, said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to her family and friends.”

Bean, a proud daughter of Maine, served as a member of the L.L. Bean board for decades before her interests also brought her to the center of the state’s lobster industry.

She founded the brand Perfect Maine Lobster in 2007, bought multiple lobster dealerships, and participated in the effort to get the industry certified as sustainable in 2013. (That certification was revoked in 2022.)

Bean was also outspoken in her support for the GOP. She was a major opponent of abortion rights, gay rights, and gun control, and even campaigned unsuccessfully for Congress in 1988 and 1992.

In 2017, she came under fire from the Federal Election Commission for making what the agency alleged were excessive donations to a political action committee supporting Donald Trump—prompting liberal groups to mount a boycott effort of her grandfather’s now-iconic brand.

Bean’s far-right bona fides and her love of Maine shone through in her fiery response to the effort. She called the backlash “un-American” and said the groups were “a small kernel of hardcore bullies out on the left coast, West Coast, in California, trying to control what we do, what we buy, what we sell in Maine.”

Even Trump himself went to bat for L.L. Bean at the time, calling for his supporters to make purchases from the company as a way of supporting the heiress.

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