Hero for humanity

In Memory of Paul Newman


Hero for humanity
by Kaveh Afrasiabi

Today, I am grieving at the loss of 83 year old legendary actor and social activist Paul Newman, who was also a great humanist and dedicated his life to helping the world's needy, especially the sick children.  

Although I had met him only once at a fund raiser for his ‘Hole in the Wall’ charity,  I felt I knew him rather well, not simply because I am like countless millions of others a devout fan of his movies and always admired his tireless charitable activities, but also because Paul was a dear friend of my brother, Mohsen (above photo), and our brief encounter in Palo Alto, California, two years ago left a lasting impression that I cherish forever.

Addressing an intimate group of high tech executives that evening, Paul spoke briefly about the current and future plans of Hole in the Wall, expressing appreciation for my brother’s effort in organizing that successful fund raiser. 

He was genuinely interested in the United Nations and I used the opportunity to make a pitch for putting him together with the UN Undersecretary For Peacekeeping Operations, Jean Marie Guehenno, whom I had recently interviewed for a UN magazine, hoping that Paul would then consent to celebrating the UN Peacekeeping Day at the auto races through a UN button attached to the uniform of drivers. 

Subsequently, I was informed by my brother that Paul had expressed real interest in such a meeting and yet due to health reasons was unable to make it.

Also, subsequently Paul expressed a strong interest in a movie idea called “The Fourth Man” dealing indirectly with the Iran-Contra Affair. He had just turned down a film script by his old friend Robert Redford and felt that Redford would be rather unhappy if he picked up another script. 

He was done with movies and was now officially retired from Hollywood, though never from his true passion of auto race, in light of the couple of race cars he and his partners, Karl Haas and Mike Lainigan, owned, one driven by a young driver, Rahal, in whom Paul vested a lot of hope as a future champion.

I once asked Mohsen what he thought was the underlying cause of Paul’s passionate love for racing and he thought that “it’s something holy for them, as if he feels nearer to God when he is at the pit stop.”

What I liked most about Paul was his humility and selflessness, his unique ability to engage in conversation with people as a most ordinary man that, if you did not know his identity, you would never think that you were speaking with a world renowned living legend who was loved and admired around the world, although I must say that I found  his piercing, mildly inquisitive stares deep into your eyes, instantly revealing a seasoned veteran of life’s so many adventures who reached the pinnacle of Hollywood stardom and who selflessly devoted a major chunk of his time to various charitable activities.

Paul was an exemplary hero, for all of us, the entire humanity, who broke the barriers, religious, political, racial, etc., and reached us all through the combination of his numerous artistic creations and equally impressive dedication to humanitarian causes.  God bless his soul.

Kaven L. Afrasiabi in Wikipedia


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God Bless Paul Newman

by Amir Nasiri (not verified) on

I remember when I was kid my father came with this huge machine. It was very fat looking, one would say it was on steroids. Anyway my father said it is called sony 80/80. On top of the machine were two movies. Both were of Paul newman.

I started liking Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Robert Redford and Clint Eastwood. All their movies ranged from bank robberies , gangster style movie or old cowboy movies. The most I liked about it was the translators and those who spoke Farsi for them. That was awesome.

Anyway, Paul Newman was a good actor and his humanitarian work speaks for itself.

I belong to several charity organization and I understand the hard work and effort it requires to run one. Anyone who does volunteer work really need to be the American Idol. It is a selfless act of good done in the community.

People like Paul Newman will be not only remebered for their great movies and excellent acting but also for the great things they have done for humanity.

God Bless you


Bless his soul

by hazratee on

God bless those who dedicate themselves to ease the pain of living for those unfortunate souls around the world.

Darius Kadivar

Wow Thanks for Sharing

by Darius Kadivar on

Wow Kaveh Jan,

What a Small World. Wonderful tribute and thank you for sharing. The movie buff in me truly appreciates this feedback. Interesting that he was interested in the Iran Contra Script. Hope a movie will be made one day.

Newman was really unique and combined both wit and good looks so rare in Hollywood today.