The Great Paul Newman

In this 1978 file photo, actor and U.N. ambassador to disarmament Paul Newman is seen. Newman, the Academy-Award winning superstar who personified cool as an activist, race car driver, popcorn impresario and the anti-hero of such films as "Hud," "Cool Hand Luke" and "The Color of Money," has died, a spokeswoman said Saturday. He was 83. Newman died Friday, Sept. 26, 2008, of cancer, spokeswoman Marni Tomljanovic said.
AP Photo
This column was written by CBS News Early Show Co-Anchor Harry Smith.

Paul Newman believed those of us who were lucky should share the advantages that luck gives us.

He said he was lucky.

Which was a kind of smart place to go with his intelligence and talent and yes, good looks.

A smart place to go because a big part of Paul Newman's public persona was how much fun he was having with his life.

That fun belied the fact of how serious a person he was.

The food business was a sort of lark, right? That happened to make a quarter of a billion dollars in profits which all went to charity.

I interviewed Newman several times. Long interviews about public service and acting, he was deeply passionate about both.

He was a voracious consumer of news. He really knew what was going on and wasn't afraid to share his opinions.

There was a goodness about him, a selflessness. He had a lot of choices, how to spend his time, his money, his talent.

We're the ones who are lucky -- to have known him.