Conversations with Hilary: Bill Newsom

I am so deeply honored to feature one of my favorite people in the world, my dad, Bill Newsom. A retired Judge with a 20 year tenure, three years on the superior court and 17 on the California Court of Appeals. He has been a leader in the environmental movement for more than 40 years, both locally and nationally. His passions are the wilderness, wildlife and water issues. Through his devotion he has made an impact on the environment in Alaska, California and beyond.

My father founded the Mountain Lion Foundation in the 1970’s, establishing protection for the California Mountain Lion. For 12 years he was a trustee for the Environmental Defense Fund and currently serves as a trustee for Earth Justice – America’s premier environmental law firm. He continues his advocacy for the environment as a grant maker, funding environmental campaigns throughout the west. My childhood memories are filled with accompanying him to many philanthropic events to help raise money and awareness for his causes. His passion to make a difference in the world, inspired me to become a philanthropist and my brother, Gavin, a dedicated public servant.

My father has always had a deep interest for English literature. He taught English at Stanford University and has an impressive book collection. But most of all, my father is witty and kind and he is the most wonderful father and grandfather anyone could have ever dreamt of. I hope you enjoy my Conversations with my father as much as I enjoy my personal conversations with him daily.

1. What do you believe to be your greatest accomplishment?
My family

2. Do you have a prized possession?
Book collection

3. What qualities do you think others love about you?
Sense of humor

4. What do you like most about what you do for a living/career?
That I don’t do it anymore!

5. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Stretching to help walking

6. What’s your favorite thing to do on a Friday night?
Crawl up and back to the local pub for drinks and dinner

7. What were you passionate about in your younger years growing up?
Birds and animals

8. What are you passionate about now?
Birds and animals

9. What’s your favorite season and why?
Winter because I enjoy cold, gloomy weather

10. If you were stuck on a deserted island, what three items would you want to have with you?
“A Life of Dr. Johnson” by Boswell, and 2 extra copies in case the first 2 get wet

11. If you were a cocktail or a drink what would it be?
Old Fashioned

12. What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
N/A since I don’t own an iPod

13. If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Max Beerbohm and Norman Douglas

14. If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?
Tarzan of the Apes:  A Sequel


15. Do you have any regrets?
As Edith Piaf said in her famous song, “je ne regrette rien” (I regret nothing)

16. Define Freedom.
Being left alone

17. What are your personal core values?
Never betray your family and friends, betraying your country on occasion may be alright.  Eschew patriotism at all costs since it is the last refuge of a scoundrel

5 thoughts on “Conversations with Hilary: Bill Newsom

  1. aaronmeltzer

    A wonderful man, great company. I enjoyed my conversations with Bill every time we spoke. Happy Father’s day.

  2. Linda Winter

    It sounds like nothing has changed since I spent a wonderful and fulfilling 19 years working with Judge Bill.


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