Paul Newman Planned for Charitable Legacy After Death

Actor Paul Newman, who died last Friday at the age of 83, took steps before his death to ensure that 100 percent of the profits from Newman's Own, the multimillion-dollar food company he created with friend and writer A.E. Hoetchner, will continue to benefit charity, the Associated Press reports.

Newman personally distributed the profits from Newman's Own from the time of the company's founding in 1982 until two years ago, at which point, in a rare instance of long-term planning for the actor, he established the Newman's Own Foundation to carry on his charitable work after his death. Over the years, Newman and the foundation have given more than $250 million to a range of charitable causes and groups, including the Hole in the Wall Camps for children with life-threatening illnesses and the Safe Water Network, which Newman helped found to provide safe drinking water to impoverished communities around the world. The actor also co-founded the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy.

Urged on by his friend Robert Forrester, Newman formulated his vision of what he wanted the Newman's Own company to stand for: quality food, fair labor practices, a mission focused on philanthropy rather than profit, and an open, welcoming workplace environment. According to Forrester, those values will not change, even as executives at the company look for ways to expand the business and grow its philanthropic activities.

"We will miss Paul, but we will honor his vision for the common good through dedicated stewardship of his company that will perpetuate his philanthropic legacy," said a statement on the Newman's Own Web site. "Paul wouldn't have it any other way."

Susan Haigh. "Newman Planned for Charitable Legacy After Death." Associated Press 09/29/2008.