Felice Leonardo “Leo” Buscaglia, Ph.D. (31 March 1924 – 12 June 1998) was an author and motivational speaker, and a professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Southern California. He was a graduate of Theodore Roosevelt High School (Los Angeles). After Navy service in World War II, Buscaglia entered the University of Southern California, where he earned three degrees before joining the faculty. Upon retirement, Buscaglia was named Professor at Large, one of only two such designations on campus at that time.
He gained fame on the USC campus through his non-credit course titled “Love 1A,” which 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.