Gorrie, the son of Magnus James and Margaret Miller Gorrie grew up in Birmingham and New York. He graduated from Shades Valley High School in 1953 and worked a paper route and summer jobs during school, investing his savings in IBM (where his father worked).
After graduating from Auburn University in 1957, Gorrie served in the U. S. Navy Civil Engineering Corps until 1960 to work in construction. In 1964 he bought the small construction firm founded by Thomas Brasfield in 1921. He changed the company's name to "Brasfield & Gorrie" in 1967, keeping the founder's name even though Mr Brasfield was no longer associated with the firm.
Brasfield and Gorrie grew steadily over the next decades and expanded from typical commercial and institutional buildings into hospitals, factories and water treatment plant construction. In the 1980s the company opened offices in several Southern cities.
Gorrie has served on the boards of Colonial Properties Trust, ACIPCO, the Metropolitan Development Board, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, the McWane Center, AmSouth Bank, the Business Council of Alabama, the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Central Alabama, Baptist Medical Center, the UAB President's Council, and on various boards for UAB, Samford University and Auburn University.
Gorrie was inducted into the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame in 1997, the Alabama Business Hall of Fame in 2002, the Birmingham Business Hall of Fame in 2003, the Alabama AGC Construction Hall of Fame in 2004, and the Alabama Academy of Honor in 2006. He also received the Auburn Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 and the M. Miller Gorrie Construction Center at Auburn, supported by donations from B&G employees and dedicated in 2006, is named in his honor.
- Atkins, Leah Rawls (2002) The Building of Brasfield & Gorrie. Birmingham: Brasfield & Gorrie
- Rountree, David (June 13, 2005) "Gorrie honored with Lifetime Achievement Award." Birmingham Business Journal
- "Magnus Miller Gorrie" (August 2006) Alabama Academy of Honor