In a business where public scandal and bad-boy behavior are the rule rather than the exception, Paul Newman is as much a hero offscreen as on. A blue-eyed matinee idol whose career has successfully spanned five decades, he is also a prominent social activist, a major proponent of actors' creative rights and a noted philanthropist.
Born January 26, 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio, Newman served in World War II prior to attending Kenyon College on an athletic scholarship; when an injury ended his sports career, he turned to drama, joining a summer stock company in Wisconsin. After relocating to Illinois in 1947, he married actress Jacqueline Witte, and following the death of his father took over the family's sporting-goods store. Newman quickly grew restless, however, and after selling his interest in the store to his brother, he enrolled at the Yale School of Drama. During a break from classes he travelled to New York City where he won a role in the CBS television series The Aldrich Family.
Paul Newman became interested in auto racing while training for a film about the motor sport. Here he is before the start of the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1979. He and his two co-drivers finished second in their Turbo Porsche.