Pelican Publishing is mourning the loss of its longtime publisher, Dr. Milburn Calhoun, who passed away on Saturday, January 7, at the age of 81. A practicing New Orleans physician for 30 years, Calhoun was an even longer-lived bibliophile, a self-made expert on rare books who opened his rare and out-of-print bookstore, Bayou Books, in 1961. He acquired Pelican in 1970, and put it on the map with the bestselling self-help title See You at the Top by Zig Zigler. Today, Pelican has more than 2,500 titles in its catalog.

A post on Pelican’s Facebook page expresses the staff’s condolences, calling Calhoun “a good man and important landmark of humans.”

Calhouns obituary notes that the religious- and education-focused fund he established with his wife, the Milburn and Nancy Calhoun Foundation, is accepting donations at 9 Muirfield Place, New Orleans, LA 70131.