Love Story author Erich Segal dies aged 72
Erich Segal, author of the hugely successful story of love and bereavement, has died
Erich Segal in 1980. Photograph: Maja Langsdorff/AP
Erich Segal, best known as the author of Love Story, died on Sunday of a heart attack, his friend Ned Temko said today. He was 72.
Segal wrote the bestselling book about love and bereavement, which became a chart-topping film, in 1969 when he was 32 and a classics professor at Harvard. As its most famous line, “love means never having to say you’re sorry”, entered popular culture, Segal became a celebrity and regular on TV shows, as well as a commentator on the Olympic games for the ABC network.
However, he continued to write right up to his death, producing more than half a dozen novels, essays, literary criticism and, with his dear friend and comrade-in-comedy, Jack Rosenthal, a new English translation of the opening Friday-night Hebrew prayer for the West London Reform Synagogue. His last major work, in 2001, was a scholarly look at the history of comedy, and of dirty jokes, from the ancient Greeks through to Stanley Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove.
Segal is survived by his wife and editorial collaborator, Karen, his elder daughter, the writer Francesca Segal, and his younger daughter Miranda, a student at Bristol University.