Jules Field, former owner and publisher of Aquatics International and sister publication Pool & Spa News, died Feb. 9 of pneumonia in Laguna Hills, Calif. He was 92.
Field purchased then-Pool News in 1961, shortly after its inception and became its original publisher. He became publisher of Aquatics International when he bought the magazine in 1997. He retained both posts until June 2001, when his company, Leisure Publications Inc., sold to Hanley Wood Inc.
?Jules always had his eye on Aquatics International (because it was a start-up by a competitor) and thought it would be a good sister publication to Pool & Spa News,? said Nancy Field, his wife and former Leisure Publications president.
She said Jules thought the growth of waterparks and the opportunities around the rehab and redevelopment of aging municipal pools made Aquatics International attractive. ?Pool & Spa News had generally focused on residential pools, and Aquatics International was an opportunity to be involved with the municipal and water park sector,? Nancy Field said.
It was that kind of vision friends and colleagues remember. ?I consider him one of the great, pioneering icons of the pool industry, along with the guys who were there in the power structure in the ?60s, ?70s and ?80s,? said longtime friend Bill Kent, president and owner of Team Horner Group in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Cited by many as a pioneer, Field was credited with raising the standard of editorial quality in this industry?s trade press. ?Jules was a very good journalist and, I think, the conscience of the industry for a long time,? said Joel Caesar, former executive director of the Northeast Spa & Pool Association.
Field was born April 22, 1915, in the Bronx, N.Y. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in languages from New York University in 1936. He entered the world of publishing in the 1950s, when he joined the trade publication Industrial News as its advertising director. Just six months after Pool News began, Field came on board as a publisher. He made his presence known right away and not only by passing out his trademark apples at conventions.
Fields? mission, his wife said, was to deliver the industry news and educate on a wide range of subjects, from marketing to pool maintenance.
He received industry recognition over the years. In 1989, he was given the NSPI Eagle Award for his commitment and service to the hot-tub industry. In 1988, the NSPI Southern California Chapter presented him with a Special Recognition crystal goblet.
Besides his wife, Jules Field is survived by son Steve Field, daughter Elizabeth Field Robbins, grandson Geoffrey Field, granddaughter Cristina Field Treminio and great-grandson Andres Treminio. He was predeceased by grandson Alexander Robbins.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Los Angeles Times Summer Camp Fund or Doctors Without Borders.