Anita Miller in the early 1980s. Academy Chicago Press, the company she founded with her husband, Jordan, published hundreds of titles on a variety of subjects and in a variety of genres.CreditJulia Anderson-Miller
By Sam Roberts
Aug. 9, 2018
Anita Miller, who helped found an idiosyncratic but well-respected independent Chicago publishing house that entangled itself in a losing four-year legal battle with the estate of the novelist John Cheever, died on Saturday in Chicago. She was 91.
Her son Bruce confirmed her death.
Dr. Miller, a published author in her own right, founded Academy Chicago Publishers with her husband, Jordan, in 1975. By the time it was acquired by Chicago Review Press as a separate imprint in 2013, they had hundreds of titles in print on a variety of subjects and in a variety of genres.
The Millers, who met as classmates in literature courses at Roosevelt University in Chicago, “publish books dear to their hearts,” The New York Times Book Review wrote in 1980, describing their output as “attractively made, mostly paperbound children’s books, feminist books and new editions of hard-to-come-by literary treasures of the past.”
The house’s list ranged from out-of-print Charlie Chan mysteries to the memoirs of Amelia Earhart.
Academy Chicago had been respected regionally early on, but it achieved even broader visibility in the late 1980s after Mary Cheever, John’s widow, agreed to a $1,500 advance to produce what the Millers envisioned as a collection of as many as 68 unpublished Cheever short stories. Cheever died in 1982.