Gearon has spent almost 30 years in various capacities with the Atlanta Hawks, including general manager (1977-79), president (1977-1986) and chairman of the board (1986-2004). Gearon, who engineered the trades that brought Tom McMillen and the late Terry Furlow to Atlanta, helped the Hawks qualify for the playoffs in both seasons as general manager. A successful entrepreneur who retired from business at age 37, Gearon built one of the top real estate development companies in the country. Gearon & Company, which pioneered the concept of large-scale suburban office parks, was responsible for many of the business developments in Atlanta today, including the Coastal States Building and the Perimeter Center complex. A longtime associate and close friend of Ted Turner, Gearon is a former director of Turner Broadcasting.