“Last lecture” Professor Randy Pausch dies

Posted on July 26, 2008 
Filed Under Life

From LA Times:

Randy Pausch, a terminally ill professor whose farewell lecture at Carnegie Mellon University became an Internet phenomenon and best-selling book that turned him into a symbol for living and dying well, died Friday at age 47.

Pausch, who was a computer science professor and virtual-reality pioneer, died at his home in Chesapeake, Va., of complications from pancreatic cancer, officials at the Pittsburgh university announced.

When Pausch agreed to give a theoretical “last lecture,” he was participating in a long-standing academic tradition. Except a month before giving it, Pausch received the diagnosis that would heighten the poignancy of his address.

Originally delivered in September to about 400 students and colleagues, his message about how to make the most of life has been viewed by millions on the Internet. Pausch expanded it into his book, “The Last Lecture,” released in April.

Yet Pausch insisted that the words were designed for an audience of three: his children, then 5, 2 and 1. “I was trying to put myself in a bottle that would one day wash up on the beach for my children,” he wrote in his book.

Last autumn, he moved his family to southeastern Virginia so that Jai, his wife of eight years, could be near relatives. He tried to “build memories” with his children, taking his oldest, Dylan, to ride a dolphin and introducing his son Logan to Mickey Mouse at Disney World.

For his final Halloween, his family — including his youngest, daughter Chloe — went as the Incredibles, personifying his end-of-life mantra: We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.

MORE from NY Times.

LINKS: Last lecture video.
Last lecture on YouTube.
Last lecture on Google Video


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