Remembering Paul Newman, the philanthropist. – By Dahlia Lithwick – Slate Magazine

I was very upset – though not surprised – to hear of Paul Newman’s death last week. We’ve lost one of the last of the big time movie stars, a genuine good guy, and one of the most spectacular philanthropists Hollywood has ever seen. I’ve been delaying my posting of an obituary until I found a suitable one, and Slate has finally provided it. RIP, Paul.

Today there are 11 camps modeled on the Hole in the Wall all around the world, and seven more in the works, including a camp in Hungary and one opening next year in the Middle East. Each summer of the four I spent at Newman’s flagship Connecticut camp was a living lesson in how one man can change everything. Terrified parents would deliver their wan, weary kid at the start of the session with warnings and cautions and lists of things not to be attempted. They’d return 10 days later to find the same kid, tanned and bruisey, halfway up a tree or cannon-balling into the deep end of the pool. Their wigs or prosthetic arms – props of years spent trying to fit – were forgotten in the duffel under the bed. Shame, stigma, fear, worry, all vaporized by a few days of being ordinary. In an era in which nearly everyone feels entitled to celebrity and fortune, Newman was always suspicious of both. He used his fame to give away his fortune, and he did that from some unspoken Zen-like conviction that neither had ever really belonged to him in the first place.

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