Italian writer Umberto Eco dies, age 84

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Umberto Eco, 2005.
Image: Università Reggio Calabria.

Umberto Eco, semiotician, philosopher, and novelist, died on yesterday night at the age of 84 at his home in Milan, according to his family. He had cancer.

Eco was born in Alessandria, northern Italy, on January 5, 1932 and attended University of Turin, focusing on Medieval philosophy and literature. In 1956–1964 he worked closely with the Italian television station RAI. In 1975 Eco became a University of Bologna semiotics professor.

Though an essayist, he is best known for his first novel The Name of the Rose, published in 1980 and later made into a motion picture directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, starring Sean Connery. After the successful debut he wrote more novels, the most recent, Numero Zero, published in 2015.

Eco's wife and two children survive him.