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Nell Newman is the president and co-founder of Newman’s Own Organics: The Second Generation food company, which started as a division of Newman’s Own in 1993 and has been an independent company since 2001. Since 1982, Paul Newman, the founder of Newman’s Own, and the Newman’s Own Foundation have donated more than $285 million to thousands of charities. Ms. Newman is also co-author of the book The Newman’s Own Organics Guide to a Good Life: Simple Measures That Benefit You and the Place You Live. The daughter of actors Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, she grew up on natural foods at their rural Connecticut home and credits her parents with teaching her by example to be socially responsible, politically involved, and philanthropic. She is an ardent supporter of sustainable agriculture and is a featured speaker and panel member for various organizations and conferences. She currently resides in Santa Cruz, California, with her husband and two chickens. (

the interview

I have always loved Newman’s Own and Newman’s Own Organics products and stood in awe of what they have done as a business—basically set up to make money for charity. Before I read an interview with Nell in the February 2009 issue of Vogue, I had no idea that she was the mastermind behind the Organics line; I just thought she worked with her father. I tore out the article and put her on my wish list of people to interview. My assistant and I did a little victory dance in the office when she accepted my request, and I walked away from our interview even more impressed with the work she does and her commitment to it.