Robert E. Field was born in 1937, raised in the Philadelphia area, and relocated with his family to Lancaster in 1967.
He graduated from the University of California – Berkeley,’59, with a major in economics. (Offered a two year graduate fellowship to Cambridge University, he declined it to enter the business world.)
At 28, Field’s career began as a builder and operator of apartment complexes and hotels and residential communities, later under the service mark of The Manor Group.
His initial development in 1966, Manor House Apartments, pioneered the acceptance of African Americans in a then segregated Lancaster suburbs.
In the 1970s, Field contributed half the cost for acquiring the current building for Clare House, a women’s shelter.
By chance while traveling in Italy with wife, mother and mother-in-law, Field prevented further damage to and safeguarded broken pieces of Michael Angelo’s Pieta. His photograph along with the assailant’s appeared on the front page of the New York Times. He vividly recalls how moved he was while holding a hand from the Pieta in his own hands.
In 1980, Field served as Arlen Specter’s statewide finance chair for Specter’s successful candidacy for U. S. senator. In 2002 Field changed his registration to Democrat and suggested that Specter do the same.
Co-founded with Melvin R. Allen and was its major contributor during its first decade of Project Forward Leap that for twenty- five years provided five weeks of educational overnight summer camp, plus in later year’s, academic support for about 300 inner city youngsters.
Co-founder with Kevin B. Zeese of Common Sense for Drug Policy that provided factual information to counter then prevailing misinformation and flagrant falsehoods leading to the War on Drugs. See www.drugwarfacts.org
He, with the valuable facilitation of Rep. Mike Sturla, was the prime mover of the deregulation of the sale of syringes in Pennsylvania.
Field founded and supports syringe exchanges in Lancaster, York and Harrisburg and aids an exchange in Reading..
Originator and sponsor of a CARE program providing over two hundred and fifty small (approximately 300 books each) libraries in rural schools throughout Afghanistan and Guatemala.
Served on a select committee that added a classroom wing and expanded public areas to Shaarai Shomayim Synagogue.
Co-founder with son Richard of the American House Foundation that provides milk and bread to supplement the daily diets of five-thousand young children from impoverished Hungarian households.
Chair of Real Reporting Foundation which support three news and commentary web sites in Hungary, two of which are in English. They serve as a window on Hungary and often are the basis of reporting in the West.
Founder, publisher, editor and occasional writer of www.NewsLanc.com
Recipient of the Crystal Stair Award for public service from the University of Pennsylvania.
Field long sought anonymity for his services but found it necessary to speak up publicly against recent generations of what has become a largely predatory Lancaster establishment, joined by and complicity supported by local media.
After being domiciled in Lancaster for over 45 years, Field recently moved to the Upper West Side of New York City. But he continues to be concerned.