Field Enterprises was a private holding company founded on August 31, 1944, by Marshall Field III and others whose main asset was the Chicago Sun. That same year the company acquired the book publishers Simon & Schuster and Pocket Books.
It also operated a syndicate, Field Newspaper Syndicate, whose most popular offering was the comic strip Steve Canyon. Comic strip historian Allan Holtz has written regarding the origins of the syndicate and its relationship to the rest of the company:
- Field... was a syndicate initially created by Marshall Field to sell features from his Chicago Sun newspaper. When Field started the Sun he found that Chicago was pretty much all sewed up with exclusive contracts on the better features. He resolved to purchase his own features and market them. Ironically, the Field Enterprises syndicate ended up being a better moneymaker than the Sun itself. It has been said that the flagship feature, Steve Canyon, was responsible for keeping the Sun afloat for many years.
The Sun later merged with the Chicago Times to create the Chicago Sun-Times. Besides the Sun-Times, Field Enterprises also owned broadcaster Field Communications, founded Parade magazine and owned the World Book encyclopedia from 1945 to 1978.
Simon & Schuster and Pocket Books were sold in 1957 following the death of Marshall Field III. Parade was sold the following year. Field Enterprises was dissolved in April 1984 after the sale of the Sun-Times, the last of their valuable assets, to Rupert Murdoch the previous year. Murdoch & News Corporation sold the Sun-Times to Hollinger International (now the Sun-Times Media Group) in 1986. Hollinger was formerly controlled, indirectly, by Canadian-born businessman Conrad Black. Field Newspaper Syndicate was sold the same year to Hearst's syndication division, King Features Syndicate.
Field Newspaper Syndicate comic strips
- B.C. by Johnny Hart
- The Berrys by Carl Grubert
- Brother Juniper (1953–86) by Fr. Justin "Fred" McCarthy, OFM, and Len Reno
- The Captain's Gig by Virgil Partch
- Goosemyer by Don Wilder and Brant Parker
- Granny and Slowpoke
- Grin and Bear It by George Lichty
- Hit or Miss by George Sixta
- Latigo by Stan Lynde
- Mary Worth by Ken Ernst and Allen Saunders
- Miss Peach by Mell Lazarus
- Rivets by George Sixta
- Steve Canyon by Milton Caniff
- The Strange World of Mr. Mum by Irving Phillips
- Sylvia by Nicole Hollander
- "Owns The Chicago Sun: Field Enterprises, Inc., Organized By Marshall Field", ''The New York Times, 1 September 1944, page 22.
- Holtz, Allan. "Obscurity of the Day: Hit or Miss April 13, 2010.
- Friendly, Jonathan. "Murdoch Buys Chicago Sun-Times", The New York Times, 2 November 1983, page D1.