Despite the factthat he was colorblind or was kicked off his college football team while on ascholarship, Paul Newman managed to arguably have one of the best actingcareers ever in Hollywood history. But none of that mattered compared to whathe did for the people.
On January 26, 1925,Paul Leonard Newman was born in Cleveland, Ohio. According to, www.biography.com, ”Newman grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio with his older brother Arthurand his parents Arthur and Teresa.”Some of Newman’sbiggest influences, his parents, helped him become who he was. Newman’s dad,Arthur Newman was the son of immigrants from Poland and Hungary and was Jewish;he also ran a very successful sporting goods store. Teresa Newman was ahomemaker, better known as a housewife,and had a passion for theatre.
Teresa’s passion for theatre rubbed off onNewman but it was not enough. Newman did school plays in high school, but itdidn’t match his love for football. Paul played football in high school and hadhopes to become a professional athlete.After graduating high school, Newman briefly went to college, and then enlistedin the U.S. Navy Air Corps. Originally, Paul had hoped to become a pilot, butwas told he couldn’t because he was colorblind. Instead he worked as a radiooperator for three years during World War II serving in the Pacific.
Afterleaving the Navy, Newman went to Kenyon College in Ohio on a footballscholarship, but would major in theater his last two years because he got introuble. “I got thrown in jail and kicked off the football team. Since I wasdetermined not to study very much, I majored in theaterthe last two years,” he told Interviewmagazine in 1998.
Paul finishedcollege in 1949 and met his first wife Jacqueline Witte while doing summerstock theater in Wisconsin. They, later on, got married, and Paul continued toact until in 1950 Paul’s father tragically died. After moving back to ShakerHeights, Ohio to take over the family business and where his first kid Scottwould be born, Paul realized that this wasn’t the right path. So, Newman gothis brother Arthur to run the business and moved to New Haven, Connecticut.After shortly attending Yale University’s School of Drama he was running out ofmoney and relocated to New York City. He acted in a few T.
V. series and in 1953got a lead role in a very successful Broadway play called Picnic. Through this play, he met actress Joanne Woodward.
There wasa strong attraction, but Paul was married and Susan, his second child, was bornthat year. Paul and his family moved to Hollywood sometime in the mid-1950s.Newman played in the movie The Silver Chalice(1954) and was so embarrassed by his performance he put out an ad in thenewspaper apologizing to anyone who had seen the movie. He would later redeemhimself in the movie Somebody Up ThereLikes Me (1956) as he starred as the famous boxer Rocky Goziano. Paul wouldlater be cast in The Long, Hot Summer(1958) co-starring with Joanne Woodward, while filming they realized they weremeant to be together and so did Paul’s wife Jackie. Jackie filed a divorce andthen Paul and Joanne would later get married in Las Vegas in January 1958 andhad their honeymoon in London.
They would also end up having three daughtersand raising them in Westport, Connecticut. By this time, Paul Newman was one ofthe best actors of the decade and had already received his first Academy Awardfor Best Actor.In the 1980’sNewman started his own food company.
It started out with him giving out saladdressing as Christmas gifts, but Paul and his friend decided to keep theleftovers and tried to sell the dressing to stores. According to www.biography.com ”the two went on tofound Newman’s Own, whose profits and royalties are used for educational andcharitable purposes. The company’s product line now extends from dressings tosauces to snacks to cookies.
Since the inception of Newman’s Own, over $250 millionhas been donated to thousands of charities worldwide.” Paul also founded theScott Newman Center after his son died due to an accidental overdose ofalcohol and prescription drugs. The foundation tries to stop drug abuse througheducational programs and was founded in 1978. Other charities and foundationssupported by Paul Newman include The Painted turtle, Wilderness SafarisWildlife Trust, Canary Foundation, Children in the Wilderness, Help USA,International Rescue Committee, Nalip, and he also established Hole in the WallCamps for children with illnesses. Paul influenced society by donating everylast penny of his profits to charities and foundations102 is the totalamount of awards/nominations Paul Newman has received.
He was nominated 7 timesfor the Academy Award for Best actor and Stayed home to avoid the embarrassmentof losing again, but on March 30, 1987, he was finally awarded an Oscar for theyear’s best performance by an actor. He also won 4 Golden Globes, in the year1957, 1969, 1984, and in 2006. Paul Newman also won the James Beard Award forHumanitarian of the Year in 1995. In total, Newman was nominated 65 times andwon 37 awards.
On September 26, 2008, Paul Leonard Newman aka King Cool died inhis home in Westport, Connecticut due to Lung Cancer. He was a heavy smoker forclose to three decades and died 30 years after he quit smoking. He was 83 yearsold.
Paul Newman was a great man, a famous actor, a phenomenal Humanitarian, afather of 6, the voice of Doc Hudson from Disney Pixar’s Cars, and a professional race car driver. A life well lived. R.I.
P King Cool.