Noble and General, who raised the Gordon Highlanders. He joined the army in 1789 and by 1791 he was a captain in the famous 42nd Highlanders. He was present at the engagements connected with the Duke of York's expedition to Flanders in 1793.
In 1794, he raised the famous Gordon Highlanders. This regiment soon joined an army under the command of General Moore (1761 - 1809) in the Netherlands campaign and fought at the Battle of Bergen (1799) in which Gordon was severely wounded. He was presented with the Grand Cross of the Bath in 1820.
Gordon acceded to the titles Duke of Gordon and Earl of Norwich following the death of his father, the 4th Duke, in 1827. Like his father, Gordon was appointed Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland and Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire. He was also Governor of Edinburgh Castle, an appointment once held by the 1st Duke.
Gordon married Elizabeth Brodie in 1813 and the couple spent fourteen years in Huntly Lodge before moving to Gordon Castle, when he inherited the Dukedom. He was the last Duke of Gordon in the Scottish peerage because, having no children, the title became extinct, along with the Earldom of Norwich. His estates were inherited by Charles, 5th Duke of Richmond, a nephew, who went on to assume the surname and the arms of Gordon.
Gordon lies buried near his father at Elgin Cathedral and is remembered by a monument on a hill by Elgin, comprising a column topped by a statue.