I know this doesn’t really affect most of the BMW crowd. But if you are a true, generalized automotive enthusiast and/or racing enthusiast, you’ll have feel saddened by the loss of the great Paul Newman.
Paul Newman was diagnosed with Lung Cancer possibly in late 2007 to early 2008. He passed away, September 26, 2008, at his home in Westport, CT with his family by his side. He was 83.
While not just one of the greatest and most brilliant film and stage actors of any time, or even a great racing driver, owner and team manager, Paul Newman was a very altruistic human being, giving tens of millions of dollars of his own money to various efforts around the world. His most popular philanthropy effort lies with his Newman’s Own products that range from salad dressings to lemonade. From its inception in 1982 Paul Newman had it set up that all of the earnings of the company, after it paid its tax debt, would go straight to charity. That has resulted in well over $220 million donated. He also donated plenty of his own money to different relief funds around the world and started free summer camps in different parts of the world, including the U.S., that helped severely sick kids maintain a normal and healthy summer lifestyle.
Newman was an avid racer. Up until his death today, he co-owned the Newman/Haas/Lanigan IndyCar racing team. Its notable drivers have included legend Mario Andretti, F1 great Nigel Mansell, 4-time Champ Car Champion, and now F1 driver Sébastien Bourdais, and current ace, Graham Rahal, among others.
Paul Newman was a great champion driver in his own right. His first pro race was in 1972 and has raced many races in the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America). He drove Datsun’s, later to become Nissan’s, in the Trans-Am Series from the 70’s to the early 90’s. Newman was the oldest driver in history to win a professional race at age 70, winning his class in the 1995 24 Hours of Daytona. He drove in Petit Le Mans in 2000, Baja 1000 in 2004, and once again in the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2005. He used to own a racing team in NASCAR before selling it to Roger Penske, which is still being run today. He was involved in the Newman Wachs Racing team in Atlantic Championship racing. All this after owning a team in the Can-Am Series.
Among Mr. Newman’s most credited movies are The Hustler, Cool Hand Luke, Slapshot, Winning, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Color of Money, and so many, many more.
Paul Newman was not just a champion on the big screen and the stage, he was a champion at racing and best of all, taking care of people. He was an avid supporter of human rights and the 1st Amendment. He cared about people as well about the world. He may have had different political views from many people, but you can’t say he didn’t care and give his all to everyone that he could. His last time driving on the race track was a month ago on August 13th when Lime Rock Park race track closed the circuit down for part of the day to let Paul race his GT1 C5 Corvette in style. Rest in peace Mr. Newman. This is one fan that will surely miss you a whole lot. Don’t forget to show God a few of your good ole’ tricks on the Heaven circuit.
This is a great send off to Paul Newman by Dahlia Lithwick.
Photo taken from: Daylife