NPR logo Murray Horwitz Remembers Paul Newman

Murray Horwitz Remembers Paul Newman

Paul Newman in the 1949 Reveille -- the Kenyon College yearbook. Source: Kenyon College hide caption

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Source: Kenyon College

From one Kenyon man to another — TOTN movie buff Murray Horwitz remembers the movie star with whom he shared an alma mater...

To attend Kenyon College was to have Paul Newman be a part of your life. He was by far the most famous alumnus (among a not-bad crop: E.L. Doctorow, Jonathan Winters, Allison Janney, Robert Lowell, and father-of-the-birth-control-pill Carl Djerassi, among others) and the fact that Kenyon was Paul Newman's school partly defined your undergraduate experience.

The man who first put him on the stage, the head of the then-Speech (and later Drama) Department was James E. Michael. Newman always gave him an immense amount of credit, and stayed close to him until Jim's death about ten years ago. Jim (I was lucky enough to have him as my mentor, too) said that Paul always answered inquiries from Kenyon people — and, to my knowledge, it was true. Doctorow says he was "quite the rogue" at Kenyon. The "laundryman" citation refers to Newman's Kenyon job delivering clean sheets to the dormitories every week. He stayed close to Kenyon right up until his death.

—Murray Horwitz