‘Love Story’ author Erich Segal dies


(JTA) — Erich Segal, the author of the popular novel and movie screenplay "Love Story," has died.

Segal, who worked as a classics professor at Yale University, died Sunday at his home in London after a 25-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 72.

Born in New York, Segal was the son of a rabbi and studied foreign languages, including Hebrew, from a young age, according to the Washington Post. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard in 1958, then a master’s degree in classics and a doctorate in comparative literature.

In 1972, two years after the movie "Love Story" became a box office hit and pop icon and Segal became a favorite on the talk-show circuit, the author and scholar was denied tenure at Yale. Among his students at the Ivy League university were George W. Bush and Al Gore.

Segal admitted that the main "Love Story" character of Oliver was modeled after Gore and his Harvard roommate, actor Tommy Lee Jones.

He wrote several screenplays, including earning a writing credit for the Beatles film "Yellow Submarine."

Segal after leaving Yale continued to publish best-selling novels, as well as research works on ancient literature. He settled in England, where he was a fellow at Oxford University’s Wolfson College.

He ran 10 miles a day and competed in the Boston Marathon until being diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the mid-1980s.


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