Erich Segal, the author of the novel and movie screenplay “Love Story,” died Jan. 17 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.
He became a classics professor at Yale University, counting George W. Bush and Al Gore among his students. Segal admitted that the main “Love Story” character of Oliver was modeled after Gore and his Harvard roommate, actor Tommy Lee Jones. Segal also wrote several screenplays, including earning a writing credit for the Beatles film “Yellow Submarine.”
After leaving Yale, Segal 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. — jta