Leo Buscaglia Dr. Felice Leonardo Buscaglia Ph.D. (31 March 1924 - 11 June 1998) was a professor of Italian descent at the University of Southern California, who authored a number of New York Times bestselling inspirational books on love and human reticences on the subject, including The Fall of Freddie the Leaf, Bus 9 to Paradise, Living Loving and Learning, and Love. In lectures he often protested, in outrage at the comparative absence of writings on the subject, "I got the copyright for love!!!"
While teaching at USC, Buscaglia was moved by a student's suicide to contemplate human disconnectedness and the meaning of life, and began a non-credit class he called Love 1A. His book and numerous recorded and televised lectures, some of which became available through PBS, and which became extremely well received. He argued that social bonds are essential at transcending the stresses of everyday life and enriching it above the limitations of poverty as well as crossing communication gaps between generations.
Buscaglia worked actively to overcome social and mental barriers that inhibited the expression of love between people, from family to acquaintances to the disabled, institutionalized, and elderly, to complete strangers, often making his own forwardness on the subject a topic of self-deprecating humor. The profundity of his subject, however, almost invariably struck a responsive chord regarding an area many regarded as deficient in their lives, and by 1998 his books had reached eighteen million copies in print in seventeen languages.
Leo Buscaglia died of a heart attack on June 11, 1998 at his home in Glenbrook, Nevada, near Lake Tahoe. He was 74.