Marie Halun Bloch was born in Komarno, Ukraine, and emigrated to the USA with her family as a young child. She attended primary and secondary school in Evanston, Illinois and earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago. In 1930, she married Donald Beaty Bloch, with whom she had one child. She worked as an economist for the U.S. Labor Department in the 1930s.
She was the author of 18 books, including both fiction and nonfiction, for children, and two books for adults. She also translated works from Ukrainian into English. She traveled to Ukraine and Eastern Europe several times from the 1960s through the 1990s, and wrote extensively about her experiences.