Frank Henry Field was born on February 22, 1922, in Keansburg, New Jersey, the son of Frank Aretus Field and Mary Louise Fleischmann. His father died soon after his birth and he was raised by his mother until her death in 1933 and then by his aunt, Anna Fleischmann, in Cliffside Park, New Jersey. He attended Duke University, graduating in 1948 with a PhD in chemistry. After five years of teaching at the University of Texas he joined the Humble Oil and Refining Co, at their research laboratory in Baytown, Texas, and embarked on a distinguished career in mass spectrometry. He is the author of 175 scientific papers, the co-author of an important book in his specialty and the recipient of awards from the American Chemical Society, the American Society for Mass Spectrometry and other professional societies.
In 1970 he was invited to form a laboratory at The Rockefeller University from which he retired in 1989 as Camille and Henry Dreyfus Professor. After retirement he and his wife moved to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where he took flying lessons, played tennis and spurred the construction of a new building for the Unitarian-Universalist Church. In 2005 the couple moved to The Forest at Duke, a retirement community in Durham, North Carolina, where he died on April 12, 2013 at the age of 91.
Throughout his life he delighted in music, playing the violin as an amateur in chamber ensembles and orchestras, and fine wine and good company.
He is survived by his wife, the former Carolyn Bryan of Houston, Texas, by two sons, Jonathan and Christopher, three step-daughters, one grandson and several step-grandchildren.
A memorial service will take place later at The Forest at Duke.