Erich Wolf Segal (June 16, 1937 – January 17, 2010) was an American author, screenwriter, educator and classicist. He was best known for writing the bestselling novel Love Story (1970) and the hit motion picture of the same name.
The son of a rabbi, Segal attended Midwood High School in Brooklyn and traveled to Switzerland to take summer courses. He attended Harvard College, graduating as both the class poet and Latin salutatorian in 1958, and then he obtained his master’s degree (in 1959) and a doctorate (in 1965) in comparative literature from Harvard University.
Segal was a professor of Greek and Latin literature at Harvard University, Yale University, and Princeton University. He had been a Supernumerary Fellow and an Honorary Fellow of Wolfson College at Oxford University.
His first academic book, Roman Laughter: The Comedy of Plautus, revolutionized the great Roman comic playwright best known today as the inspiration for the Broadway hit, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. In 2001 Harvard published his The Death of Comedy, the all-encompassing literary history.