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Paul Newman -- R.I.P.Posted Sunday, September 28, 2008, at 3:30 PM
Paul Newman was born on January 26, 1925, in a suburb of Cleveland.
On September 26, 2008, at age 83, he passed on to the Great Beyond.
His father was Jewish and ran a sporting goods store. His mother was a Slovakian Catholic who converted to Christian Science when Paul was five years old.
Newman made his acting debut at the age of seven, playing the court jester in a school production of Robin Hood. He briefly attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. His plan to be accepted into pilot training failed when it was discovered he was color blond. After boot camp, he was trained as a gunner and radioman in torpedo bombers. In 1945, he served aboard the USS Bunker Hill during the battle for Okinawa.
After the war, he graduated from Kenyon College. Later, he studied acting at Yale University and under Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in New York City.
Paul Newman was a brilliant actor. He made over 50 movies, starting in the 1950s, and was nominated for a best actor Academy Award 10 times, winning once and receiving two Oscars for lifetime achievement. He also received two Golden Globe Awards, an Emmy, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Cannes Film Festival Award and many honorary awards.
On the silver screen, he was Hud, Cool Hand Luke, Harper, Hombre, The Hustler (Fast Eddie Felton) and Butch Cassidy. And he was magnificent every time.
Politically, Newman was very liberal. He supported Eugene McCarthy in the 1968 presidential election race, which landed him on Richard Nixon's infamous Enemy List.. But unlike other show biz liberals, he lived far from the glare of Hollywood, in Connecticut.
And unlike other show biz liberals, his philanthropy didn't include attacking successful people and corporations. Instead of trying to confiscate money from others, Newman founded a company called Newman's Own, in 1982, which carries a line of food products. The company policy is to donate all proceeds, after taxes, to various charities. To date, this effort has distributed in excess of $200 million to worthy causes, mostly toward children worldwide.
He not only talked the talk, but he walked the walk.
Newman was survived by his wife of 50 years, Joanne Woodward, five daughters, two grandsons and his older brother. His son, Scott, died in 1978 of a drug overdose.
Rest in Peace.
Quote for the Day -- "A noble person lives by doing what needs to be done, not by thinking about doing or thinking about what to think when finished doing." Bret
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Bret Burquest is a former award-winning columnist for The News (2001-2007) and author of four novels. He has lived in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Kansas City, Memphis and the middle of the Arizona desert. After a life of blood, sweat and tears in big cities, he has finally found peace in northern Arkansas where he grows tomatoes, watches sunsets and occasionally shares the Secrets of the Universe (and beyond) with the rest of the world.