Dorman was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of a Lithuanian laundry owner and Polish mother. He graduated from college as a mechanical engineer, first working in 1930 for an automotive carburetor company in Flint, Michigan. By the second world war he had a comfortable engineering job at International Harvester in Chicago when he heard of a rocket company being formed in California. He joined Aerojet as chief test engineer on 25 June 1943. He became a key employee, leaving for a while in the 1960's to work for NASA, but returning to Aerojet in his last 30 years to manage its real estate holdings, and document its history.
Birth Place: Jewish, Illinois.