FIELD Frederic VANDERBILT
Date of birth : April 13, 1905, New York.
Date of death : February 1, 2000, in Minneapolis.
Member of an eminent family from New York City.
His father was
William Osgood Field, a descendant of Samuel Osgood, the country's
first postmaster general, and Cyrus Field, who was responsible for
laying the first trans-Atlantic cable.
His mother was Lila Vanderbilt Sloane.
After his return from London, he worked for the Institute of Pacific
Relations, a federation of 10 national councils working to solve the
problems of the Pacific area. The organization was considered
respectable throughout most of the 1930's, but the Soviet Union became increasingly influential after joining in 1931,
and when the Congressional investigators began searching for Communists
after World War II, the institute was represented as an umbrella for
subversives. He remained with the organization until 1940 and was in its board until 1947.
With his brother and his two sisters, they were raised with every luxury. In his autobiography "From Right to Left", published in 1983, Field, writing of himself in the third person, said he had grown up "surrounded by servants who did everything for him but sneeze".
After graduating from the Hotchkiss School in 1923, he entered Harvard where he was a member of Hasty Pudding and an editor of The Crimson. He graduated from Harvard in 1927 and went on to the London School of Economics, where he came under the influence of the socialist Harold Laski.
He first ventured in politics when he offered his services to the American Democratic Party, after returning to the United States from a year in London.
He had previously been interested in socialist ideas, and when he discovered that Democratic Party leaders were not in a great hurry to change society, he drifted further in socialism's direction. Each opportunity was good to talk about socialims and he made many street-corner speeches, although he said later they were not very good.
He first publicly proclaimed his adherence to the socialist cause in 1928, when he announced that he intended to vote for Norman Thomas, the Socialist Party candidate for president.
In the 40's, he was an organizer and executive secretary of the American Peace Mobilization, an organization with ties to the Soviet Union that was dedicated to keeping the United States from entering the war.
In 1941 the group picketed the White House for more than 40 days. The picketing ended suddenly when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union.He was cut off without a penny by Frederick Vanderbilt, his great-uncle, who had no children; his fortune was estimated at more than $70 million. His disillusionment moved him further to the left.
Formerly, he had been married 3 times : with Elizabeth Brown (1929-1935), Edith Chamberlain Hunter (1938-1949) and Anita Cohen Boyer (wedding in 1949 or 1950).
He collected pre-Columbian objects and ran the American Russian Institute.
With Nieves Orozco, they belonged to the colorful colony of "Zona Rosa" where the
left-wing expatriates lived in exile (
With Nieves Orozco, they belonged to the colorful colony of "Zona Rosa" where the left-wing expatriates lived in exile (Dalton Trumbo, Herbert Bibberman, George Pepper, John Howard Lawson, Albert Matz).
Accompanied with his wife, in 1962, he was Marilyn's guide during her trip in Mexico, to buy some furniture for her new house. They visited
The Fields found Marilyn warm, attractive, brilliant and smart, curious about things, people and ideas, and also incredibly complicated.
The group was followed by the FBI, apparently interested in Marilyn's relationship with the richest Communist of the USA, in deliberate exile in Mexico. The FBI knew at that time that he belonged to the Komintern.
In June 1962, the Fields stayed a few days in Marilyn's apartment in New York, while she was in California
Lila Field Jacob, Nievaska Gonzales, Fredrika Field and Xochitl Field; 12 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.