He founded a Marxist-Leninist party, fostered a sexually charged brand of psychotherapy, wrote controversial plays about race and managed the presidential campaign of Lenora Fulani, who was both the first woman and the first black candidate to get on the ballot in all 50 states.

He helped the Rev. Al Sharpton get on his feet as a public figure and gave Michael R. Bloomberg the support of his Independence Party in three mayoral elections, arguably providing Mr. Bloomberg’s margin of victory in 2001 and 2009.

Mr. Newman, who died at 76 in his Manhattan home on July 3, eschewed conventionality. He insisted, for instance, that there was nothing wrong with psychotherapists having sex with patients. He created an empire of nonprofit and for-profit enterprises, including arts groups and a public relations firm. He wrote books on psychology and philosophy as well as plays. One play, about the 1991 riots between blacks and Jews in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, was condemned as anti-Semitic by the Anti-Defamation League.