Paul Newman: Tears and Thanks for the Passing of a Global Great


paul newman.jpg
It’s amazing that the young, talented, got-everything-he-wanted Paul Newman turned into the globally aware and socially concerned activist he became.
On a number of levels, I think that Matt Damon — and even Ben Affleck — resemble at their young age Paul Newman in spirit and human conscientiousness.
I tried last year to engineer a request from ABC White House Correspondent Ann Compton to Paul Newman to serve as Master of Ceremonies of the 2008 White House Correspondents Dinner.
Newman would have pulled no punches but still would have been a gentleman. He was too ill to do the dinner, but had he been able to, America and George W. Bush would never have forgotten it.
I encountered Newman a few times in person in my life — but had a pretty long and deep conversation with him in 1985 about Ronald Reagan who he thought was institutionalizing national disregard for those in need. At the time, Reagan’s policies had led to many mentally ill and schizophrenic patients ending up on America’s streets — and Newman was livid about what was happening to the country’s soul.
He was a great man and was committed to getting America and Americans on a better path.
— Steve Clemons


10 comments on “Paul Newman: Tears and Thanks for the Passing of a Global Great

  1. movie fan says:

    it’s hard not to admire Paul Newman for putting his money to work in such productive ways, such as his Newman’s Own line–high quality stuff and the proceeds go to good causes… very smart.


  2. Kathleen says:

    I too knew Paul Newman…during the 60’s he supported Gene McCarthy for President… Anne Wexler and I both lived in Westport at the time and ran the campaign headquarters…when we succeeded in getting 9 seats on the delegation from CT. to the Chicago convention, I wanted Paul Newman to be one of them… the Exectuive Committee objected because, while his heart was defintely in the right place, they felt he wasn;’t sufficiently informed about the nitty-gritty nuances… but I felt we needed him for the publicity and besides he was not likely to be there for the whole convention…just the night when McCarthy was nominated…the rest of the time the alternate delegate would be dealing with the nitty-gritties… I won that argument on the condition that I brief him in Chicago… I did but, it wasn’t really necessary…he was there only one night… same with Arthur Miller and William Styron, the other big names in our 9 delegate team. Newman actually had more bodyguards than Gene McCarthy…I found Newman to be a very sincere, genuine and honorable man….Somewhere in the archives of my newspaper clippings is an article in the Westport Town Crier on my role as Neweman’s advisor for the Chicago convention.
    Later, Newman was a big supporter of Joe Duffey for U.S. Senate in 1970 and was the person who announced Duffey’s candidacy…
    Newman’s passing is a big loss to all who work for world peace.


  3. Bill R. says:

    Paul Newman, a noble man. A life well lived. Someone who used his success to be a citizen of humanity. I’m blessed to have lived in a time where he served as such an example.


  4. Linda says:

    He was a very talented actor, compassionate philantropist, and a very sweet human being.
    Here’s a link to a very sweet anecdote about him:


  5. Mr.Murder says:

    “You are your own forerunner, you the stranger passing by the gate of my garden.”
    Your life precedes your legend, Paul.
    Sleep well, Prince.
    We wake to find you,
    in dreams,
    awaiting the appearance of our better selves,
    as brothers united from paths separate.
    Finding in that,
    the best of what you shared
    with us.


  6. Diane says:

    Paul Newman’s passing touched me too – I mean I have always had a deep admiration for him as a philanthropist as well as his work in movies and I guess I will miss him more that I realised.


  7. Mr.Murder says:

    Luke was still grinnin’ at me….


  8. Jim says:

    George W. Bush, Arnold Schwarzenagger and other delusionals who
    think they earned the success they blundered into ought to be
    made to write this phrase over and over until permanent carpal
    tunnel syndrome kicks in:
    In Paul’s words: “I wanted to acknowledge luck; the chance and
    benevolence of it in my life, and the brutality of it in the lives of
    others, who might not be allowed the good fortune of a lifetime to
    correct it.”


  9. WigWag says:

    Paul Newman, was the rarest of movie stars. Not only was he a great philanthropist, he was a great husband. This from the NY Times obituary:
    “In an industry in which long marriages might be defined as those that last beyond the first year and the first infidelity, Mr. Newman and Ms. Woodward’s was striking for its endurance (50 years). But they admitted that it was often turbulent. She loved opera and ballet. He liked playing practical jokes and racing cars. But as Mr. Newman told Playboy magazine, in an often-repeated quotation about marital fidelity, “I have steak at home; why go out for hamburger?”
    I agree with Dan Kervick. Paul Newman’s passing touched me in a way that the death of most celebrities doesn’t.


  10. Dan Kervick says:

    I always knew I liked Paul Newman. But I am really surprised by the depth of my own shock and sadness at hearing of his passing. There was something immortal about him, so it is hard to acknowledge accept that he’s gone.


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