He made the first of his major philanthropies when he was a charter member of the corporation formed (1878) to found the institution which became the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1890 he gave the original tract of land for the Univ. of Chicago, ultimately becoming one of the largest donors to the school. In 1893 he gave $1,000,000 to the fund for the museum at the World's Columbian Exposition. Its collections were the nucleus of the Field Museum of Natural History, now housed in a magnificent building on the Chicago lakefront that was provided by a bequest of $8,000,000 from Field.
In 1941, Field started the Chicago Sun, and in Jan., 1948, he bought the Chicago Times and merged the two papers. Field took a more active part in that journalistic enterprise, ultimately becoming the paper's dominant personality. Through Field Enterprises, Inc. (est. 1944) he also published the World Book Encyclopedia. His charities included many child welfare organizations. Field's political and social beliefs are expressed in his book Freedom Is More than a Word (1945).
See L. Wendt and H. Kogan, Give the Lady What She Wants: The Story of Marshall Field and Co. (1952); biography of Marshall Field 3d by S. D. Becker (1964); J. Tebbel, The Marshall Fields: A Study in Wealth (1947).
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