Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman: Jan. 26, 1925 - Sept. 26, 2008

There are a lot of actors and celebrities that come around when the races are in town. Most are there to promote a project, get their picture taken and party.

Paul Newman was well-known to most veteran sports TV professionals who covered racing. He was never at the races to promote a project, did not like to have his picture taken and rarely partied. Newman was a racer. Friday, he passed away at home after a long battle with cancer.

ESPN fans may remember Newman in his red, white and blue sports car racing at historic Lime Rock which was right in his Connecticut backyard. Newman also drove in both the 24 Hours of LeMans and Daytona. Open-wheel fans knew Newman as a long-time owner in the Indy Car world.

Update: Mario Andretti will be on Wind Tunnel at 9PM Sunday with Dave Despain to talk about Newman's racing legacy.

Here are some great story links talking about Newman's legacy:
Paul Newman's Racing Endeavors by Shawn Courchesne of the Hartford Courant.
Actor Ushered Auto Racing Into American Mainstream by Matt Humphrey of the Orlando Sentinel
Racer, Actor Newman dies at 83 from AutoWeek

Your comments on Mr. Newman are welcome. Just click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.


TexasRaceLady said...

This was a true legend --- not just in movies, but in real life. He was a generous, caring man.

RIP, Paul. You gave us so much joy, in so many ways.

Dot said...


Ditto from Dot.

Newracefan said...

When surfing the net I have come across headlines about a "Hollywood" type who has passed and just look at it long enough to find out who it was and move on. I saw Paul Newman's stopped, read the entire thing because the man was so much more than a Hollywood actor, he will be missed.

glenc1 said...

He will SO be missed; one of the truly great people, not just an 'actor'. For those who might not know, he helped Kyle with the VJGC (modeled after Newman's Hole in the Wall camps.) He was also Stanton Barrett's godfather, incidentally. Anyways, I'm sure the ESPN folks will find a way to put something appropriate in the broadcasts today & tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Paul Newman will be deeply missed at our home too. He was a great actor
a racer & philanthropist doing many things truly made him a Renaissance man in our time. RIP Paul & prayers to his family. He is missed already

3bud said...

A truly good man. RIP Mr. Newman.

Sophia said...


JD, GREAT photographs! Thanks for digging these out.

One of the last great Hollywood legends to leave us. Such a great guy and as mentioned, was no attention seeker.

The last time I saw him interviewed was in Charlotte I think or somewhere promoting "Cars" where he did the voice of Doc Hudson. It was the Regis and Kelly show and neverataloss for words Regis, had a hard time getting conversation from Paul. Paul really did not like the publicity tours and it showed but that's ok. He stayed true to himself.

He and his wife moved to Connecticut decades ago to stay sane and survived the loss of a son. Another example of a solid marriage.

Stating the obvious, yes, he was a great philanthropist, and just apparently a good guy to know.

R.I.P. Paul and condolences to the family and friends of this man.

Anonymous said...

I loved Mr. Newman!

He was a true gentleman! He has done a lot of good for people.

He will be missed! He's one man that I don't think anyone could say anything bad or mean about him.

I was looking at his IMDb page and he's been very busy in his career.

RIP Mr. Newman :(

Grover said...

Paul was a giant.
I had the distinct pleasure to work for him for a weekend during an IRL race. When I mentioned the Hole in the Wall Camps, his face just lit up. For the rest of the 2 days he talked about how it all started and how big a part of his life they are.

What great things he accomplished in his life that will live on and enrich the lives of others for generations to come.

bevo said...

A true legend. His concern for the less fortunate in our society will be a legacy we should all embrace and try to emulate.

There's a great thread on Speed about his last visit several weeks ago to Lime Rock where they shut down the track for the afternoon so he could drive it one last time in his Corvette.

TexasRaceLady said...

I remember back in the late 90s, when Paul scared Richard Childress half to death. He showed up at a practice or test wanting to drive one of the cars --- in particular he wanted to drive the 3.

Richard let him out in the 31 because it wasn't in race trim. Paul came back with suggestions -- so he could go faster. He turned laps very close to qualifying speed.

Vicky D said...

I got to see Paul in my home town of Westport walking through a parking lot and I was saying to my friend, there's Paul Newman, and she said WHAT? I was whispering there's Paul Newman she still could not hear me another time I whispered it. After he got in his car and drove off I screamed THERE'S PAUL NEWMAN. I would never intrude while he was in downtown Westport. That's why I buy a lot of his food items because he donates almost the proceeds after costs to charities in Connecticut. RIP, Paul. All of your fellow yankees (and racing fans) and me will miss you immensely.

majorshouse said...

I really hearing that. Newman was not only a great actor and race car driver, but was a great car onwer in the open wheel ranks as well. He will definitely be missed.

Richard in N.C. said...

A class act who will be sorely missed. He is a prime example of turning doing well into doing good. Rest in Peace.

Steph said...

RIP Paul....he was truly a class act. He will be sorely missed not only for his acting, racing but most importantly for all his charitable works. His is a legacy that should be emmulated by many more. Condolances to his family and friends

red said...

a gentle man in every way, he is already missed.

only now will many come to know his deep and abiding love of our sport, his commmittment to being "just one of the guys" when he strapped in. unlike some who have ownership in a racing team, newman understood the cars at a visceral level and his love for speed was unabashed.

he was "all that" -- and more. rest easy, mr. newman, rest easy. you were one of the great ones in life.

Diane said...

missed already - rest peacefully!

I really loved looking at the racing photos - wonderful memories!

darbar said...

I had the chance to meet Mr Newman at a CART race in Laguna Seca a number of years ago. He was polite, friendly and very down to earth. We've lost a true gentleman. Rest In Peace, Mr Newman.

Brian said...

R.I.P Paul, you were one of a kind! You will be missed!

Desmond said...

God rest the soul of Paul Newman. He was one of a kind, whether in entertainment or racing.

He was very humble by the traditional Hollywood standards. Even when he won his Oscar for Best Actor in 1987 (for The Color of Money, about another sport, billiards), he didn't even show up for the awards show!

Paul was also married to the same wife for 50 years. That's an eternity in showbiz.

One final note: Paul was very nearly a NASCAR team co-owner. In 2007, Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing signed a letter of intent with Robert Yates Racing to buy into the 38 and (old) 88 cars. The idea was to transfer some of the ChampCar engine technology and team techniques to the NASCAR team. But the contract was never officially signed.