Erich Segal was an American author and screenwriter, best known for his first novel, Love Story.
Segal was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 16, 1937 and was the son of Rabbi Samuel Segal and Cynthia Shapiro. He earned his B.A. from Harvard University in 1958 and went on to receive his master’s degree in classics and a doctorate in comparative literature. Segal began his career as a classics professor at Yale University in the 1960s and continued to work as a classicist even after his success as a novelist, holding visiting professorships at Princeton, Oxford and the University of London, among others.
His first novel, Love Story, was published by Harper & Row in 1970, and chronicled the fate of lovers Oliver Barrett IV and Jennifer Cavilleri, who met at Harvard. Segal also wrote the screenplay for the movie which appeared at the end of 1970, starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw. The movie received seven Academy Awards, including one for Segal’s screenplay.
Other projects to Segal’s credit include collaboration on the screenplay for the animated Beatles movie Yellow Submarine (1968) and the book and lyrics for Sing Muse! (1961). His other novels were Oliver’s Story (1977), The Class (1985), Doctors (1988), Acts of Faith (1992), and Only Love (1997).
Segal died on January 17, 2010 of a heart attack at age 72. He had also been ill with Parkinson’s disease for 25 years.