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Linda L. Bean, granddaughter of the founder of L.L. Bean, passed away at age 82. Known for her work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit, and dedication to Maine and the outdoor retailer, she served on the company’s board for nearly half a century. Additionally, Bean owned lobster dealerships, founded the Perfect Maine Lobster brand, and had various business interests in Maine’s central coast. She played a key role in obtaining sustainability certification for Maine’s lobster industry in 2013 but faced controversy when the certification was pulled in 2022 due to concerns about harm to whales. Bean was also involved in philanthropy, supporting various causes in Maine.

In addition to her business endeavors, Linda Bean was an active conservative activist and supporter of Republican causes. She ran for Congress twice, opposing abortion and gay rights legislation, as well as gun control. Her support for repealing a Maine law outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation and opposing transgender individuals serving in the military showcased her controversial conservative views. Despite facing criticism and boycotts for her political views, Bean found an ally in former President Donald Trump, who urged his supporters to buy products from L.L. Bean. Governor Janet Mills of Maine, a Democrat, acknowledged their differing political beliefs but admired Bean’s love for their home state and the coastal community.

Bean faced scrutiny from the Federal Election Commission for making excessive contributions to a political action committee supporting Trump’s presidential campaign in 2017. This led to calls for a boycott of L.L. Bean by liberal groups, which Bean attributed to harassment by a small group attempting to control Maine’s business activities. Despite differences in political ideology, Linda Bean and Governor Mills shared a mutual appreciation for Maine’s coastal beauty, art, and cuisine. Their shared affection for the state and its traditions transcended political divides, highlighting the importance of unity beyond partisan differences.

Throughout her life, Linda Bean demonstrated a deep love for Maine, its coastal communities, art, and culinary heritage. Her support for local businesses, philanthropic endeavors, and efforts to promote sustainability in Maine’s lobster industry left a lasting impact on the state. While known for her conservative activism and political views, Bean’s legacy goes beyond politics, reflected in her dedication to preserving Maine’s cultural heritage and supporting local communities. Her passing was mourned by both political allies and opponents, emphasizing the respect and admiration she garnered across party lines in Maine. Linda L. Bean leaves behind a legacy of entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and advocacy for Maine’s traditional values and way of life.

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