Cleveland, OH

This Ohio actor has given away $600 million

Ash Jurberg

This month, I have been writing a series of 'good news' articles looking at people who have been generous in giving back to their community. This includes entrepreneurs, business leaders, and entertainers. Leading into Christmas, it is nice to read positive articles.

Today I wanted to shine the spotlight on an actor born in Cleveland, Ohio, who, through his philanthropy and charity projects, has given away $600 million.

Even though Paul Newman passed away in 2008, the Ohio native's legacy lives on.

Let's take a quick at how.

The legendary actor

Newman was born in Ohio and attended Shaker Heights High School in the suburbs of Cleveland before briefly attending Ohio University. Newman graduated with a liberal arts degree from Kenyon College in Central Ohio.

He served in the US Navy during World War II before returning to become an actor. His acting career led to numerous awards, but it's his philanthropy that should be recognized.

In 1982 he created Newsman's Own- a food product company.

This led to Newman's Own Foundation, the private foundation created by Paul Newman to carry on his legacy of giving away 100% of profits from Newman's Own food and beverages.

Today the foundation announced, "with its latest distributions, more than $600 million has been given to great causes since 1982."

This year alone, the foundation has provided funding to 272 different organizations, including:

  • SeriousFun Children's Network, the world's leading network of medical specialty camps and programs serving children with severe illnesses and their families
  • FoodCorps, an organization advocating for a future in which every child has access to food education and nourishing food in school;
  • and Safe Water Network, which ensures low-resource communities have access to a sustainable supply of safe water.

He also didn't forget his alma mater- he donated $10 million to Kenyon College in 2007.

"My days there were among the happiest and most formative of my life. I believe strongly that we should be doing whatever we can to make all higher education opportunities available to deserving students. I hope others will support Kenyon in this manner.” Paul Newman

Newman kept up his generosity until the very end.

The year he died, Newman was named the Most Generous Celebrity by Givingback.org and contributed more than $20 million to the Newman's Own Foundation.

Your thoughts

Are you proud of what this Ohio native has done for local communities? What Ohio organizations would you like to see Newman's Own Foundation support?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments below and share this article with others so they can join the conversation.

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