James T. Gorman, retired pharmaceutical salesman who was an advocate of Multiple System Atrophy awareness, dies

Jim Gorman - Original Credit: handout
Jim Gorman - Original Credit: handout (Handout / HANDOUT)

James Timothy Gorman, a retired pharmaceutical salesman who became an advocate for awareness of Multiple System Atrophy, the disease that took his life, died Dec. 26 at his Lutherville home. He was 64.

Born in Ridgewood, New Jersey, he was the son of Donald Gorman, an Owens Yacht manager, and his wife Imelda Orth, a homemaker. He was raised in Muskegon, Michigan, and in Severna Park and was a 1974 graduate of Severna Park High School.


He was a graduate of Morgan State University where he played basketball for the Morgan State Bears.

“Gorman was a versatile 6-5 guard/forward as a member of the Morgan State basketball team from 1974 to 1978,” said a Morgan statement. “He arrived on the heels of the Bears capturing a DII National Championship and was an important part of the program’s rise as Morgan averaged 20+ wins a season during his career.” Gorman played under head coach Nat Frazier, “with and against many great players from that era in Maryland basketball history,” the statement continued.

Jim Gorman, center, played basketball at Morgan State University.
Jim Gorman, center, played basketball at Morgan State University. (Handout / HANDOUT)

The school also said, “Gorman was a financial contributor to his alma mater and had a successful career in business. He has long credited the influential role of Morgan State.”

He was later an assistant men’s basketball coach at the Bowie State University.

He went into pharmaceutical and biomedical sales at Organon, Neurex and Ohmeda. He later worked for many years at the Lifecell Corp., where he was vice president of sales. He worked in Lifecell’s Branchburg, New Jersey, office. Mr. Gorman’s last job was vice president of sales at Tela Bio in Malvern, Pennsylvania.

He worked in treatments for breast reconstruction for post mastectomy cancer patients and in hernia repair.

Todd Curry, a former co-worker also lived in Lutherville, said, “Jim created a family-like atmosphere and culture at Lifecell. As vice president, he allowed people to work to the advantage of their strengths and created an unparalleled sales force in the market space.”

Mr. Curry also said, “he was bright, loyal and loved his people. He was the reason so many of those he hired and inspired were successful. They followed Jim.”

His brother, Bob Gorman, of Watertown, New York, said, “he was the kind of person who took some risks, but he didn’t see it that way.”

Another brother, Steve Gorman of Nashville, Tennessee, said, “he seemed incapable of judging people. He took people as they were and saw the best in them. He was never the guy who would give you an explanation of what you should do. He’d say, ‘What do think? What do you feel?’

“Jim was completely irreverent in his sense of humor,” he continued. “He liked to get a laugh for the benefit of the people he was with. A trip to a grocery store cold turn into a comic routine for Jim.”

Mr. Gorman was a past board chair of Metro Maryland Youth for Christ. He also made several church-related mission trips, including one to Malawi in 2009.

After his Multiple System Atrophy diagnosis, Mr. Gorman spent his last five years primarily restricted to his home. He answered online and phone questions from researchers asking him about changes in his body so they could document his decline relative to the rare disease.

Mr. Gorman participated in an effort to bring awareness to Multiple System Atrophy at an Orioles game in 2016.


He and his wife also spoke at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 2017.

Mr. Gorman’s body was donated to the National Institutes of Health for scientific research.

Plans for a memorial service will be announced at a later date.

In addition to his brothers, survivors include his wife of 37 years, Beverly Kemp, a nurse; three sons, Brian Gorman of Catonsville, Jeff Gorman of Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Gregory “Eggy” Gorman of Nashville, Tennessee; a daughter, Sara Straw of Towson; his mother, Imelda Gorman of Hopkinsville, Kentucky; three other brothers, Tom Gorman of Denver, Dave Gorman of Knoxville, Tennessee, and Doug Gorman of Bowling Green, Kentucky; two sisters, Susan Tyson of Alexandria, Virginia, and Anne Gorman of Falls Church, Virginia; and five grandchildren.

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