Milton Blouke Carus, Head of Open Court Publishing Company

M. Blouke Carus celebrating the first anniversary of Cricket in New York City

M. Blouke Carus celebrating the first anniversary of Cricket in New York City

As head of Open Court Publishing Company, Milton Blouke Carus was building on his family's legacy when he developed Open Court Textbooks with his wife Marianne in the 1960s. Open Court was founded in 1887 by his great-grandfather, zinc magnate Edward Carl Hegeler, and edited by his grandfather, philosopher Paul Carus. 

In 1971, Blouke helped Marianne establish Cricket by organizing Cricket's Editorial Advisory Board from industry leaders in children's literature.

Blouke also shared with Cricket Open Court's newly hired designer, John Grandits, who refined Cricket's early format and contributed to its signature style.

On May 29, 2018, Marianne and Blouke Carus recalled the origins and growth of Cricket in an oral history interview conducted at their home in Peru, Illinois.

After serving in the U.S. Navy from 1945-1946, Blouke earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1949. He studied foreign languages and chemistry at Mexico City College, the University of Freiburg, and the Sorbonne. He joined Carus Corporation in 1951 as a Development Engineer and holds seven U.S. patents for his work during that period.

An education reformer actively involved in textbook publishing for half a century, Blouke served by Presidential appointment as a member of the National Council on Education Research, which established policy for the National Institute of Education of the U. S. Department of Education, and was instrumental in establishing the International Baccalaureate North America (IBNA) in 1973.


Carus, Marianne. 2003. Celebrate Cricket: 30 years of stories and art. Chicago: Cricket Books.

Carus Group, Inc.: History of the Carus Corporation

Cricket Media records, 1960-2018, Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center