Master of Arts (honorary), Williams College, 1859, Doctor of Laws, 1875.
Assistant to his brother (a paper manufacturer), 1837. Started paper manufacturing business, Westfield, Massachusetts, 1839. Became partner wholesale paper firm East. Root & Company (firm failed, 1840).
Built up firm of Cyrus West. Field & Company.
Retired from business, formed (with a group of prominent New Yorkers) company to build cable communication between Newfoundland and Ireland. Copper wire 1950 miles long and 2 miles deep connected Trinity Bay, Newfoundland and Valentia, Ireland, August 5, 1858, stopped working after 3 weeks of operation.
Engaged the Great Eastern (world’s largest steamer) to lay new cable, successfully laid, 1866. Helped establish elevated trains in New York City.
Participated with Jay Gould in development of Wabash Railroad and control of newspaper Mail and Express, New York City.
Married Mary Stone, 1840, 7 children.