Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman: A Good Man R.I.P

Paul Newman died yesterday of cancer.

The first Paul Newman movie I saw was Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. My mom is a big Paul Newman and Robert Redford fan and she would always watch it when it came on TV. (This was before VCRs.) As a kid I never liked the ending, but as an adult I could see that, of course, there was no other way for that movie to end. I went on to watch other great Paul Newman movies like Cool Hand Luke, The Color of Money and The Sting but I've always love BC & TSK the best. Paul Newman was a really good actor, but I think where he made his best contribution to the world was in his charity work.

Way back in 1982 Newman and A.E. Hotchner started up a company to sell salad dressing that they had come up with. Newman's Own was set up to sell the salad dressing and pledged to donate all of their profits to charity. Their motto is "Shameless exploitation for the Common Good." I may be wrong but I think this was the first time a company was created with the sole purpose of making money to do good. I find that incredibly inspirational and one of a few things that restores my faith in humanity.

Over the next 25 years Newman's Own expanded to over a hundred different products (mostly organic/free trade and made in America) and gave over $250 million to charities including the Hole in the Wall Camps which he founded for children with life threatening illnesses. I'm a big fan of the Newman's Own food (especially the salsa and pasta sauce) and a bigger fan following the fun Newman seemed to have coming up with products and stories for the labels (in the first few years anyway). Its pretty incredible to think that a couple of people could put so much effort into creating something that would only profit them by giving them the satisfaction of helping others.

I know this is a kind of rambling post but I'm pretty sad today. A good man died but he does leave a legacy that will go on to help people for years to come. Good bye Mr. Newman, you were a good man.

1 comment:

Kerrie said...

RIP, Mr. Newman. :(