Field Foundation

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The Field Foundation (1940-1988) "provided support to organizations promoting civil rights, civil liberties, and child welfare and to other groups and individuals working for social change. Correspondence, reports, minutes, legal documents, printed material, clippings, and photographs document the wide ranging list of movements and groups the foundation supported as well as the foundation's role as an active participant in social change...

"The Field Foundation was established in 1940 by Marshall Field III, a Chicago banker, publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times, and grandson of the founder of the Marshall Field and Company department store in Chicago. The foundation provided support to organizations promoting civil rights, civil liberties, and child welfare and to other groups and individuals working for social change. By 1988 the foundation had distributed all its funds and ceased to exist...

"Correspondence, reports, minutes, legal documents, printed material, clippings, and photographs document the wide ranging list of movements and groups the foundation supported as well as the foundation's role as an active participant in social change. Individual files on each grantee provide insight into such civil rights groups as the NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and persons involved in the movement including Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, James Farmer, and Cesar Chavez. Children's rights and welfare groups, such as the Children's Defense Fund, also are documented in the records. Operation of the foundation is well documented in the board minutes, correspondence, and personal records." [1]

"Four years after Field III's death, in 1960 the foundation was divided into two separate entities: the Field Foundation of New York, which was led by Field III's widow, Ruth, and the Field Foundation of Illinois, led by Field's son, Marshall Field IV. By 1989, as Ruth Field had directed, the Field Foundation of New York fully spent its assets and closed. The Field Foundation of Illinois, meanwhile, became an active member of Chicago's philanthropic community and a key supporter of the city's major institutions. In June 1965, just before he died, Marshall Field IV offered to contribute $8 million to the Field Foundation of Illinois if the Field Building at 135 S. LaSalle were to be transferred at its fair market value, which then was worth $32.5 million. These two transactions became the centerpiece of the foundation's assets." [2]

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References

  1. A Guide to the Field Foundation Archives, Part 1, The Center for American History, accessed September 4, 2009.
  2. History, Field Foundation of Illinois, accessed September 4, 2009.