Gordon was is a professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation at the University of Alberta.
He received his PhD from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His research program integrated social, positive, and cross-cultural psychology and leisure theory. He was particularly interested in leisure behavior generally, and how it was similar and different across cultures specifically.
In 2009 he became a fellow in The Academy of Leisure Sciences; between 2016 and 2019 he was also a Distinguished University Professor at Wakayama University in Japan; in 2018 he was awarded the Leisure Scholar Award from the Canadian Association for Leisure Studies; and in 2019 he retired from the University of Alberta.
His leisure interests were and remain reading (histories and mysteries), adventure travel (he has camped on every continent), and listening to music (blues, classical, and classic rock—especially “the Boss”).