Gordon, Maurice Leonard (‘Maurie’) (1910–90), sports administrator, businessman, and community activist, was born 10 January 1910 in Leeds, England, only son and elder of two children of Joseph Gordon (originally Seltzer), textile worker from Russia, and Bessie Gordon (née Bellow) of Leeds. The family emigrated to the USA while he was an infant and he grew up in Chicago, where, after school, he completed a mechanical engineering course. As a young man he was involved in the scouting movement and was a keen basketball player. He was also an accomplished swimmer and lifeguard, and trained with future Olympic swimming champion and Tarzan star Johnny Weissmuller (1904–84). In 1929, at the beginning of the great depression, he left America and returned to England to work in an uncle's business manufacturing sewing machines in Leeds. In 1932 he came to Ireland, initially to open a branch of the business, and soon got involved in the local Jewish community. He opened his own business selling sewing machines and other equipment for the textile industry the same year. By the 1940s he was involved in promoting the game of basketball in Ireland, initially amongst the defence forces, and in 1947 he was one of the founders of the Irish Basketball Association (IBA). The following year he was coach of the Irish basketball team at the 1948 Olympics in London, and carried the Irish flag at the opening ceremony. He remained actively involved in the IBA for many years, and served as president of the organisation. In the 1960s he served on the Irish Olympic council.
In 1932 he became involved with the 16th Dublin Jewish scout troop as assistant scoutmaster and became scoutmaster in 1940, serving in that capacity until 1990. In all he was involved in scouting for seventy years, making him the world's longest-serving Jewish scout. Among the honours he received for long service was the highest award of the Scout Association of Ireland, the Silver Elk, in March 1987. In 1944 he put his lifesaving skills to good use when he rescued a drowning woman from the River Liffey. The World Scouting Association awarded him the Silver Cross, their highest award, for this action. An observant member of the Jewish faith, he was for three decades a leading figure of the Jewish religious community, serving for many years on the council of the Dublin Hebrew Congregation and filling every honorary office including that of president (1978–81). In the 1970s he became an Irish citizen. He was an extremely popular personality among old and young. In his business dealings, as in his personal life, he was widely known for his generosity. He facilitated many new businesses by offering them advice and extremely generous credit terms, and often deferred payments until they were in a position to pay. He continued to work until ten days before his death on 21 May 1990. Such was the regard in which he was held that his funeral was widely believed to be the biggest Jewish funeral ever seen in Dublin.
He married (1940) Rachel (‘Rae’) Gross (1912–99) from the Curragh, Co. Kildare; they had three sons.