Gil was born in Glasgow in 1942 and educated at Possilpark Secondary School in Glasgow. He worked for Forbes Brothes, Singer and Scottish Gas. He started his own garage business in 1973 and ran it until his election in 1999.
He joined the SNP in 1967 and has worked in all campaigns since. He has held many positions in the Party at all levels from branch to NEC including Vice Convenor Local Government and Vice Convenor Administration.
He has two children and three grandchildren and is the owner of a very successful national company established in 1973. He enjoys reading, climbing, skiing, and snowboarding.