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