Paul Newman’s decorated acting career speaks to his influence in Hollywood, but his most impactful achievements had to do with his charity work, according to his daughter.
Clea Newman spoke fondly of her late father’s legacy while celebrating his charity’s 30th anniversary recently.
“There is not a day I go to any of our camps around the globe that I don’t feel his presence,” she told Closer Weekly. “It really does make me feel closer to him. It’s almost hard for me because I miss him so much.”
Newman memorably founded a charity for ill children, the SeriousFun Children’s Network. Originally called The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, it has hosted camp experiences for over 1 million children and family members across 30 camps worldwide.
As SeriousFun’s ambassador, 53-year-old Clea preserves her father’s dedication to ailing children, which began after he witnessed kids receiving cancer treatment in the ’80s.
“He kept looking at them and saying they’re missing their childhood,” Clea said.
In developing the camps, his intention was to provide children with a place where they could, “raise a little hell and behave badly and do it all together,” as he said it.
The Network receives funding from his Newman’s Own food company, which donates all of its profits to charity.
When contemplating his life before his death at 83 in 2008, Newman said his commitment to charity was more fulfilling than any number of blockbusters he featured in.
“I hope the camps last longer than the legacy of my films,” he said.
From his dedication to veterans through his Newman’s Own Foundation to intentionally giving up some of his salary for equal pay, Newman was a forthright philanthropist.
Clea recalled her father telling her, “If you want to make a difference, you do whatever it takes.”
As the main proponent of outreach for Newman’s organization, she’s delighted in giving it her all.
“I am very proud to be a part of his legacy. It is a special gift and an honor,” she said.