Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Legend Dies

Many of you will remember him for the mark he left in Holloywood as a screen legend. To me he was a legend in motor car racing. On Friday, Paul newman died after a long illness with cancer.
The racing and the entertainment worlds simultaneously mourn today as the word slowly spreads that actor, racer, philanthropist, humanitarian, colleague, and to many, friend, Paul Newman, has succumbed to his long battle with cancer, passing away quietly and privately at home on Friday, surrounded by loved ones.
The 83 year old Ohio native was best known for his accomplished career as an actor, which spanned over 5 decades garnering a number of accolades, including ten Oscar nominations (acting's highest honor) one of which he took home for The Color of Money. But to racing enthusiasts around the world, Newman was best recognized as part owner of one of American open wheel racing's most successful teams, Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, who since it's inception in 1983 has won 8 Championships.
Before becoming a team owner however, and in a case of life imitating art, Newman became an avid and accomplished racer in his own right following the filming of the 1969 movie "Winning" in which he aptly played a racecar driver.
Competing in his first professional race in 1972, Newman would enjoy a long and lucrative career behind the wheel as well, participating in some of the worlds most famous races including the 24 Hours of Lemans and the 24 Hours of Daytona, during which he became the oldest driver to be part of a winning team in a majorly sanctioned racing event.
In 1982, Newman founded "Newman's Own", a product line who's complete proceeds go solely to charity, and which has impressively raised hundreds of millions of dollars since it's creation. Among the beneficiaries are the "Hole in the Wall Gang" Camps, another of Newman's philanthropic creations, which play host to over 13,000 seriously ill children each year, free of charge to their families, thanks to Mr. Newman's efforts."
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." said Robert Forrester, vice-chairman of the Newman's Own Foundation this morning in a moving statement about his longtime colleague, summarizing Mr. Newman's life and legacy.
Interestingly enough, Newman got the chance to get out on a race track one more time before he died...
"Wednesday, August 13, 2008 Lime Rock Park was closed down for an hour and a half today to honour Paul Newman. He was attended by his family, close friends, Skip Barber, mechanics on his race team, and those who happened to be at the track. Newman toured the track in his Corvette race car with his Buick V8 powered Volvo station wagon following. He had come to say goodbye. Diagnosed with terminal cancer he is not expected to live beyond September. Race driver, actor, humanitarian, family man and friend -- they did not come any better."
pictures courtesy of me!
Paul Newman R.I.P. 1925-2008

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