Fred Segal's Holiday Cards Reveal His 2014 Stroke

Stroke This Fred Segal Holiday Card - P 2015
Courtesy of Fred Segal / Credit: Carlo Alberto Orecchia

Stroke This Fred Segal Holiday Card - P 2015

The cards show him raising a middle finger with the words "Stroke This." Says his daughter, "It's a miracle he's … alive."

This story first appeared in the Jan. 23 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Fred Segal’s holiday cards are always greeted with anticipation. This year, the 81-year-old L.A. retail icon sent a powerful message with his annual friends-and-family mailings, announcing he had suffered a stroke on Feb. 5, 2014, and that “life as we knew it would never be the same.” But if the photo showing him raising his middle finger with the words “Stroke This” was any indication, Segal’s will to live is strong.

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“The doctors warned us there was a slim chance for survival, so we were prepared for the worst,” his daughter, Annie Segal, tells THR exclusively. “It’s a miracle he’s not only alive, but living really well under the circumstances, at home in Santa Monica [with wife Tina]. Everyone involved couldn’t believe the turnaround he made."