Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Erich Segal

Erich Segal, the writer of "Love Story" and the sequel "Oliver's Story" died of a heart attack at the age of 72. Segal also collaborated with the Beatles on the movie "The Yellow Submarine". He also wrote "Man, Woman, and Child", "The Class", and "Doctors". "Love Story started as a screen play and was made into a film in 1970 starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal. It became a huge hit and was in production before Mr. Segal worked it into a novel. When "Love Story" was released in paperback, it had the largest printing in publishing history at the time.

While Mr. Segal's work was very popular with the public, it wasn't with the critics. "Love Story" was removed from the National Book Award as William Stryon, head judge of the fiction panel, said the book did not qualify as literature and simply by being on the list, it would demean the other books.

Erich loved running. While jogging in Central park he saw novelist Philip Roth and said, "I admire your work." and Roth said "I admire your running". Mr. Segal's academic work did receive better reviews than his fiction and he continued to write about classical literature for decades. He was a fellow at Oxford University's Wolfson College.

Mr. Segal left us with the catch phrase "Love means never having to say you're sorry"


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