Born in Brooklyn on March 13, 1929, he was the son of Oscar-winning American composer and lyricist Mack Gordon, who had won Best Original Song for “You’ll Never Know” from the 1943 H. Bruce Humberstone movie Hello Frisco, Hello.
Gordon joined MGM as an interim employee in the 16mm department shortly after returning from active U.S. Army duty in the Korean War. During his four-decade career, he served under studio heads Nicholas Schenck, Dore Schary, Robert O’Brien, James T. Aubrey, David Begelman, Alan Ladd, Jr. and Frank Mancuso.
He began in the studio’s distribution department in the mid-1950s and in 1972 he was appointed VP of MGM International. He was promoted to EVP in 1979. After MGM merged with United Artists in 1981, he became SVP International Distribution. Gordon then was named president of MGM/UA International two years later. He retired in 1997 after a 44-year run at the studio. Gordon was instrumental in leading MGM’s accession into pay TV and the home video revolution.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Doris; three children, Wayne Gordon, Melissa Gordon Clark and Dean Gordon; and nine grandchildren. A funeral service will be held at noon Friday, February 21, at Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City