Erich Segal - the obituary

It was a story of love, money, class conflicts; it was, more than anything, Love Story, the book that propelled Erich Segal into the limelight and made him a renowned name all over the world. With his death at the age of 72, the world has lost not just a classics professor who passionately lectured the world over, but someone who gave generations of people a story of love in its basic, elemental form, along with many others.

The son of a Jewish Rabbi, Segal started off first as a student of Classic Literature, and later as a professor at Harvard teaching the same. He was one of the four writers who collaborated for the screenplay for Yellow Submarine – the Beatles animated feature film.  What started as a screenplay which no studio would buy was then transformed into a novel, Love Story, became an instant hit world over which was translated in more than 33 languages. Later the movie went on and won several prestigious awards.

 While to this day Erich Segal remains most famous for Love Story, he has written several novels and screenplays along with lyrics for the Odyssey and has done a lot for the classical literature, including translating various ancient works.

 Segal had been suffering from Parkinson’s for the more than three decades, but in the words of his daughter, “he fought to breathe, fought to live, every second of the last 30 years of illness with such mind-blowing obduracy, [that] is a testament to the core of who he was”.

 Erich Segal leaves behind him a legacy of writings and screenplays and - of a written word so powerful it transcended language barriers.