Newman’s Own Luck

The world lost a great actor and humanitarian last week with the death of Paul Newman. In the September 2008 issue of Vanity Fair, Patricia Bosworth paid tribute to his legendary career in an engrossing profile entitled “The Newman Chronicles.” It’s a must-read for all Newman fans, and of special interest to us was this passage:

“Newman credits his unparalleled success in so many areas to what he calls  ‘Newman’s luck.’ (He has always attributed his great good fortune to a series of ‘lucky breaks.’ ‘It’s allowed me to take chances, to take risks,’ he has said. ‘To get close to a lot of edges without falling off.’”

The article goes on to describe his first brush with this luck: While serving in the navy radioman in the Pacific during World War II, his aircraft was grounded one afternoon because the pilot he regularly flew with had an ear problem. The rest of his squadron was transferred to another aircraft carrier, which was subsequently hit by a kamikaze, killing all the members of his team.

Bosworth goes on to write:

“He had so many opportunities (such as going to Yale Drama School and being discovered by a top talent agent), but just as important was his brand of good luck. He always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. However, what’s so inspiring about his life and career is how much he accomplished with his luck. He has used it to transform himself, events, and the culture over and over.”

To read this fascinating article, click HERE.

–Kevin

(Photo by Bradley Smith/Corbis)