Newman's Own

Newman's Own is an American food company headquartered in Connecticut. Founded in 1982 by actor Paul Newman and author A. E. Hotchner, the company donates all of its after-tax profits to charity through the Newman's Own Foundation, a private nonprofit foundation which in turn supports various educational and charitable organizations.[1]

Newman's Own
Key people
ProductsVarious food and pet food products


The brand started in 1982 with a homemade salad dressing that Paul Newman and A. E. Hotchner prepared themselves and gave to friends as gifts.[2] The successful reception of the salad dressing led Newman and Hotchner to commercialize it for sale, financing it with $20,000 each as seed money.[3][4] Afterward, they also produced pasta sauce, frozen pizza, lemonade, fruit cocktail juices, popcorn, salsa, grape juice, and other products. Newman's Own Lemonade was introduced in 2004 and Newman's Own premium wines in 2008.[5] Each label features a picture of Newman, dressed in a different costume to represent the product. The company incorporated humor into its label packaging, as in the label for its first salad dressing in 1982, "Fine Foods Since February".[4] Many of the stories on the food labels were made up.[6]

Newman-O's cookies made by Newman's Own

In 1993, Newman's daughter Nell Newman founded Newman's Own Organics as a division of the company, later to become a separate company in late 2001.[7] It produces organic foods, including chocolate, cookies, pretzels and pet food. Her father posed with her for the photographs on the labels.[8] In 2014, Nell's license with Newman's Own was not renewed, and Newman's Own Organics was transferred back to Newman's Own.[9]

Newman and Hotchner co-wrote a memoir about their company and the Hole in the Wall Gang Camps, Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good (ISBN 0-385-50802-6), published in 2003. Newman and CEO Robert Forrester arranged for the continuation of the distribution of Newman's Own profits to charity after Newman's death through the establishment of the Newman's Own Foundation.[10]

Following Newman's death in 2008, control of the company and foundation passed to CEO Robert Forrester. Since taking over, Forrester expanded and diversified the company.[11] Newman's daughter, Susan, has alleged that Forrester had taken her family "hostage" and pushed them off the board of the Newman's Own Foundation, the body set up to distribute company profits to charitable causes. Forrester said that the company and foundation are continuing to be operated in accordance with the late Paul Newman's expressed wishes.[12] Forrester's salary increased from $185,000 to $295,000 from 2010 to 2013. Forrester was fired in 2019 as a result of an internal review following allegations of inappropriate behavior, and the board appointed Jennifer Smith Turner as interim president and CEO.[13][14] In January 2020, Dr. Miriam Nelson took over those roles, and the board finalized the positions in January 2021.[15]

Charitable funding and beneficiaries

According to the Newman's Own Foundation website, over $550 million has been generated for charity since 1982.[16] In 2016 the company donated profits of $30 million after gross sales of $600 million.[17] The company co-sponsored the PEN/Newman's Own First Amendment Award, which was presented annually to a United States resident who had fought courageously, despite adversity, to safeguard the First Amendment right to freedom of expression as it applied to the written word.

A sampling of grantees is available at the Newman's Own Foundation website[18] along with a description of funding areas.[19] One beneficiary of this charity is the SeriousFun Children's Network (previously the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps), residential summer camps for seriously ill children, which Newman co-founded in 1988. Today, there are camps, programs, and initiatives operating in 50 countries across 5 continents. Over 384,700 children have attended a SeriousFun program free of charge.[20] While proceeds from Newman's Own financed the startup of the camp, it now receives funding from many other sources. Additionally, the Newman's Own Foundation also provided a grant to The MINDS Foundation to fund US operations of the non-profit that works in rural India.[21] Other beneficiaries of the profits from Newman's Own have included The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund (from 1983 onwards),[22] Shining Hope for Communities,[23] Safe Water Network,[10] Edible Schoolyard NYC,[24] Fisher House Foundation,[25] the WILD Young Women Programme (New Zealand),[26] and Pilgrims Hospices (UK).[27]


  1. Mike Allen (18 November 1998). "Making His Own Charity an Acquired Taste". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-30.
  2. Nadine Brozan (22 December 1989). "From Paul Newman's Own Company, $250,000 for Neediest". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-30.
  3. Florence Fabricant (3 April 1991). "New Salsa Is True to Newman's Own Taste". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-30.
  4. Ty Burr (28 September 2008). "Blue-eyed idol put an indelible stamp on movies, philanthropy". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
  6. Kelly, Debra (2017-08-10). "The untold truth of Newman's Own". Retrieved 2020-10-19.
  7. "Nell's Corner - About Nell". Newman's Own Organics. Archived from the original on 2014-11-21. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  8. Florence Fabricant (6 April 1994). "Food Notes". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-30.
  9. Mark Seal (July 23, 2015). "Inside the Family Battle for the Newman's Own Brand Name". Vanity Fair. Conde Nast. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  10. Susan Haigh (29 September 2008). "Newman planned for charitable legacy after death". International Business Times. Archived from the original on 2012-04-23. Retrieved 2019-09-12.
  11. "How The CEO Of The Newman's Own Foundation Carries On An Unconventional Legacy". April 4, 2017. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  12. Seal, Mark. "Inside the Family Battle for the Newman's Own Brand Name". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  13. Altimari, Dave. "Newman's Own CEO Bob Forrester removed following internal investigation". Retrieved 2020-10-19.
  14. Lynandro Simmons (2019-07-11). "Ousted Newman's Own CEO made $270K per year". Fairfield Citizen. Retrieved 2020-10-19.
  15. Newman's Own Foundation (2021-01-12). "Miriam Nelson named President and CEO of Newman's Own Foundation" (Press release). Retrieved 2021-04-23.
  16. "About us".Newman's Own Foundation
  17. Tom Cunneff (24 March 2017). "Hollywood icon's 'lark' nears half billion in charity, but some family isn't applauding". CNBC.
  18. "Organizations We Support". 6 May 2020. Newman's Own Foundation
  19. "Focus Areas". 13 April 2020. Newman's Own Foundation
  20. "About us: The Beginning".
  21. "Our Supporters". The MINDS Foundation. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  22. Jon Gertner (16 November 2003). "Newman's Own: Two Friends and a Canoe Paddle". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-30.
  23. Michael Roth (11 January 2012). "Opportunity, Engagement and Confidence: Cures for the Civic Recession". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
  24. "Newman's Own Foundation Awards $4 Million for Nutrition Programs". Philanthropy News Digest (Press release). 28 October 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
  25. Michael A. Fuoco (5 December 2012). "Fisher House in Pittsburgh welcomes ailing veterans' families". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
  26. Rebecca Blithe (20 April 2012). "US charity helps fund programme for Auckland teens". The Aucklander. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
  27. Chris Murphy (15 July 2012). "Paul Newman charity to fund research by Kent's Pilgrims Hospices". Retrieved 2013-04-30.

Further reading

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