Felice Leonardo "Leo" Buscaglia PhD (March 31, 1924 – June 12, 1998), also known as "Dr. Love," was an American author and motivational speaker, and a professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Southern California.
March 31, 1924|
Los Angeles, California, United States
June 12, 1998 (aged 74)|
Glenbrook, Nevada, United States
|Occupation||Motivational speaker, writer, professor|
|Alma mater||University of Southern California|
Felice Leonardo Buscaglia was born in Los Angeles, California on March 31, 1924 into a family of Italian immigrants. He spent his early childhood in Aosta, Italy, before going back to the United States for education. He was a graduate of Theodore Roosevelt High School. Buscaglia served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Using G.I. Bill benefits, Buscaglia entered the University of Southern California, where he earned three degrees (BA 1950; MA 1954; PhD 1963) before eventually joining the faculty. Upon retirement, Buscaglia was named Professor at Large, one of only two such designations on campus at that time.
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. This became the basis for his first book, titled simply Love. His dynamic speaking style was discovered by the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and his televised lectures earned great popularity in the 1980s. At one point his talks, always shown during fund raising periods, were the top earners of all PBS programs. This national exposure, coupled with the heartfelt storytelling style of his books, helped make all of his titles national Best Sellers; five were once on the New York Times Best Sellers List simultaneously.