Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Paul Newman was a star to the end. He acted in more than 65 movies over more than 50 years. He was also an entrepreneur, and a major philanthropist, funding schools, refugees and many other causes. See here and here. He died on Sept. 27 at his home in Westport, Conn., at 83. Newman’s proudest achievement was reportedly The Association of Hole in the Wall Camps located in the United States and abroad that provide adventure and empowerment for children with serious medical conditions. More than 135,000 children have attended the camps free of charge.

Mr. Newman founded Newman’s own in 1982. The food company gives all of its profits to charity. In its 26 years, it has earned and given away over $250 million through the Newman’s Own foundation.

Mr. Newman always felt that his good fortunate was based a lot on luck. On the website for at Newman’s own Foundation is this statement:
“Paul Newman's craft was acting. His passion was racing. His love was his family and friends. And his heart and soul were dedicated to helping make the world a better place for all.

Paul had an abiding belief in the role that luck plays in one’s life, and its randomness. He was quick to acknowledge the good fortune he had in his own life, beginning with being born in America, and was acutely aware of how unlucky so many others were.”

The will touches on the concerns he had as a father, a philanthropist, and a movie star. His Oscars and his stake in his food company go to his charitable foundation. The old farmhouse and his personal effects to his wife. Mr. Newman created the will in accordance with his long-standing wish that the majority of his wealth go to charity.

He was also concerned with his personal image and intellectual property rights. He wanted to ensure that they are protected from being used in any way that he would not approve of during his life. He also didn’t want his likeness to be used by technology current or future in any virtual performance or reanimation of past performances.

A review of the will and codicil that Paul Newman left when he died in September reveals an simple 18-page document. It was released by a probate court in Connecticut last week. He is identified as Paul L Newman of Westport.

You can see the will here.

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