LONDON -- Erich Segal, the author of the hugely popular novel "Love Story," has died of a heart attack, his daughter said Tuesday. He was 72.
Francesca Segal said her father died Sunday at his home in London. She said he had suffered from Parkinson's Disease - a neurological condition that affects movement - for 25 years.
His funeral was held in London on Tuesday, she said.
Segal was a Yale classics professor when he gained nationwide fame for the book "Love Story" about a young couple who fall in love, marry and discover she is dying of cancer.
The book was turned into a hit film in 1970, starring Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw.
It gained seven Oscar nominations - including one for Segal for writing the screenplay, as well as for best picture, best director and best actor and actress (O'Neal and MacGraw.) It won one Oscar, for best music.
The film's most famous line - "Love means never having to say you're sorry" - became a national catch-phrase.
Segal's other credits include adapting his own sequel to "Love Story," "Oliver's Story," for the 1978 film; "Man, Woman and Child," starring Martin Sheen and Blythe Danner; "A Change of Seasons," which featured Anthony Hopkins and Bo Derek; and the animated Beatles film "Yellow Submarine."
In addition to scholarly works, his novels include "The Class" and "Prizes."
"That he fought to breathe, fought to live, every second of the last thirty years of illness with such mind-blowing obduracy, is a testament to the core of who he was - a blind obsessionality that saw him pursue his teaching, his writing, his running and my mother, with just the same tenacity. He was the most dogged man any of us will ever know," she said in a eulogy she read at his funeral and e-mailed to the AP.
Segal was an honorary fellow of Wolfson College at Oxford University.
He is survived by his wife, Karen James, and daughters Francesca, 29, and Miranda, 20.