Richest BusinessRichest Billionaires
Net Worth:
$66 Billion
Date of Birth:
Aug 18, 1834 - Jan 16, 1906 (71 years old)
Place of Birth:
United States of America
💰 Compare Marshall Field's Net Worth

What is Marshall Field's Net Worth?

Marshall Field was an American entrepreneur who had a net worth equal to $66 billion modern dollars. Marshall Field was the founder of Marshall Field and Company, the chain of Chicago-based department stores. He was born on August 18, 1834 on a farm in Conway, Massachusetts. His family was descended from Puritans who had come to America as early as 1650. At the age of 17, he moved to Pittsfield, Massachusetts where he worked in a dry good store and a year later moved to Chicago to live with his brother where he got a job at another dry goods merchant called Cooley, Wadsworth and Company. In 1862, Field purchased a partnership wit the firm and it became Farwell, Field & Company.

In January of 1865, Field and a partner, Levi Leiter, accepted an offer to become senior partners at the dry goods establishment of Potter Palmer. The new firm, that was eventually known as Field, Leiter & Co. was badly affected by the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, but reopened relatively quickly. The company also survived the Panic of 1873 because of relatively low levels of debt, and by 1881, Field had forced Leiter to sell his share of he business changing the name to Marshall Field and Company. Field's innovations were centered around the notion of caveat emptor, or the "buyer beware" mentality.

Marshall Field in Chicago. Photograph taken in 1906/Getty

Unconditional refunds, consistent pricing and international imports were among the Field innovations, and employees were instructed not to push products on uninterested customers, which was common practice at the time. The phrases, "give the lady what she wants" and "the customer is always right" are attributed to Field, though the latter may also be an invention of Harry Gordon Selfridge while he was employed by Marshall Field. As a businessman, Marshall Field was highly suspicious of organized labor and prohibited unionization amongst his employees. He avoided political and social intrigue, instead focusing on his work and on supporting his family and favorite philanthropies. The Field Museum of Natural History was named after him in 1894 upon an endowment of one million dollars to the organization. The University of Chicago was also founded by both Field and New York's, John D Rockefeller to rival Evanston's Northwestern University. He married Nannie Douglas Scott in 1863 and they raised two children.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
Did we make a mistake?
Submit a correction suggestion and help us fix it!
Submit a Correction