Frederick (Ted) Woodruff Field
Net worth: $1 billion
Source of wealth: Media, inheritance
Residence: Beverly Hills
Ted Field could have had a successful career just tending to the family fortune the Chicago-based Marshall Field & Co. department store chain.
Instead, he found his own way in Hollywood.
He first came West in 1987 after drifting through colleges, race cars and a dispute with his brother, Marshall Field V, that forced the sale of Field-owned Chicago Sun-Times. One of Field’s first brushes with Hollywood was when he bought Panavision Inc., the motion picture camera company. Within months, he turned around and sold it, netting $100 million in the effort.
He was generous with his earnings and inheritance, filling Democratic Party coffers. But last year, Sen. Paul Wellstone sent a contribution back Field’s involvement with gansta rap has made his donations unwelcome to politicians hoping for another term.
Indeed, Field is best known for Interscope Records, the company he founded in 1990 with Jimmy Iovine as a joint venture with Time Warner. Interscope distributes rap and rock music through the Death Row and Nothing-TVT labels.
Time Warner later dumped its share of the label amid heightening criticism over explicit, gangsta rap lyrics. Field acquired Time Warner’s stake at a discount.
Then in 1996, Field and Iovine sold 50 percent of Interscope Records to MCA Inc. for $200 million. Interscope is considered the most successful start-up record company of the 1990s, with album sales of $380 million between 1993-96.
Field also started a movie company, Interscope Communications, which produced “Three Men and a Baby” and “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” He sold 51 percent of the company to PolyGram in 1992 and the remainder in 1995, but continues to produce films including “Mr. Holland’s Opus” and “Jumanji.”
As for his involvement in the rap side of the music industry, Field won’t let his children listen to some of the music Interscope puts out.