Paul Newman, One Amazing Man
Paul Newman is an American icon and was a force for good whose influence continues to be felt today. While his talents as an actor on stage and screen have been praised worldwide, his profound legacy is in the ethos of the philanthropy he imparted to the business community, as well as in his personal commitment to the betterment of the lives of citizens across the world.
Born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, in 1925, Paul showed an early interest in theater, taking part in school productions. He briefly attended Ohio University, but soon took leave to serve in the United States Navy during World War II. Paul served as a radioman and gunner during stints in the Pacific region, including on the USS Bunker Hill during the Battle of Okinawa.
Following the war, Paul returned to Kenyon College to complete his Bachelor of Arts in theater and economics – choices that would serve him well throughout his career.
Paul Newman’s more than 65 film and TV roles throughout his 50+ year career as an actor, producer and director put him into an elite group of iconic Americans, whose films and image have touched people around the world. Among his 42 awards, Paul earned three Academy Awards including the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award given to an individual for their outstanding contributions to humanitarian causes.
Despite the countless accolades and notoriety, giving back and helping others was always a part of Paul’s identity and passions. Paul was well known among his personal friends as a proud amateur cook, with a special recipe for salad dressing that he would make and share with them. So popular was the dressing that in 1982, Paul, along with his friend A.E. Hotchner, decided to use it as the first product for a small business. Paul agreed to shamelessly exploit his celebrity status by putting his face on the label – but only if all of the profits went to charity.
This idea was unheard of at the time. Newman’s Own, as it was named, was the first business in America to do just that – give all of its profits to charity. More than 30 years later and Newman’s Own, through Paul and his Foundation, has donated more than $400 million to thousands of charities.
Newman’s Own has inspired numerous individuals and companies to follow suit, using commerce to support the common good. It could be said that Paul was the first true “cause marketer,” an industry that now yields billions of dollars in charitable funds through the sale of specially-made or branded products and services.
But Newman’s Own was only one of Paul’s philanthropic pursuits. He encouraged others to adopt the same philanthropic spirit and developed passion projects to directly improve the lives of those less fortunate.
Paul Newman passed away in 2008 at age 83. In 2015, he would have celebrated his 90th birthday. For the organizations he founded and the millions he’s helped or inspired to do the same, we celebrate Paul and the legacy he left behind and the good it continues to do.
SeriousFun Children’s Network
In 1988, Paul Newman started The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Connecticut, a place where children with serious illnesses could, in his words, “raise a little hell.” The idea, once local, quickly took on a life of its own, inspiring independent action from a host of other believers—and SeriousFun Children’s Network was born. Today, SeriousFun Children’s Network thrives as 30 camps and programs serving children with serious illness and their families worldwide – always free of charge. The Painted Turtle is proud to be among this amazing network of camps.
In 1999 Paul Newman and Page Adler, along with a group of other dedicated individuals, co-founded The Painted Turtle. Through the ongoing commitment of these individuals, many of whom sit on our board today, the dream of The Painted Turtle became a reality.
More than 86,000 children and families experience SeriousFun on an annual basis and more than 600,000 have benefited since SeriousFun first began. https://www.seriousfunnetwork.org/