35 Years Ago Today, Paul Newman Bottle of Dressing Turned into $500M...

35 Years Ago Today, Paul Newman Bottle of Dressing Turned into $500M for Charity

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This Hollywood star not only left behind a legacy of beloved films, he helped raise nearly half a billion dollars to charity after putting his handsome face on a jar of his homemade salad dressing.

It started as a joke between Paul Newman and his friends. They all agreed he should bottle (and sell) his fantastic olive oil and vinegar dressing. They are all smiling today, as the company marks the 35th anniversary of the day when Newman’s Own brand landed on grocery store shelves. What really makes this condiment different than all the rest was the promise that all profits would be donated to charity. Still today, 100% of the proceeds of Newman’s Own products—from cookies to popcorn to red sauce— go directly to charity.

“When Paul started Newman’s Own, some people wondered if the company could survive if it gave all its profits away,” said Bob Forrester, president and CEO of Newman’s Own Foundation.

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To the contrary, the company has been riding a streak of wins since its debut 1982, just like the hustling pool shark played by Newman in The Color of Money—to the tune of $495 million in payouts to charities.

Newman’s Own has become an exemplary philanthropic enterprise, funneling cash to thousands of nonprofit organizations worldwide, and Paul is often cited as the inspiration for other companies that donate profits.

To celebrate Cool Hand Luke’s 35 years of giving back, the Newman’s Own Foundation is handing out $35,000 to each of fifteen of the company’s original non-profit recipients.

“Paul Newman wanted to help make the world a better place, and he said, ‘What could be better than to hold out your hand to those who are less fortunate?’” recalled Forrester. “We are privileged to continue his extraordinary mission.”

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