Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist whose “last lecture” about facing terminal cancer became an Internet sensation and a best-selling book, has died. He was 47.
Pausch died early Friday at his home in Virginia, university spokeswoman Anne Watzman said. Pausch and his family moved there last fall to be closer to his wife’s relatives.
Pausch was diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer in September 2006. His popular last lecture at Carnegie Mellon in September 2007 garnered international attention and was viewed by millions on the Internet.
In it, Pausch celebrated living the life he had always dreamed of instead of concentrating on impending death.
“The lecture was for my kids, but if others are finding value in it, that is wonderful,” Pausch wrote on his Web site. “But rest assured; I’m hardly unique.”
Not unique – but rare.
“Under the ruse of giving an academic lecture, I was trying to put myself in a bottle that would one day wash up on the beach for my children.” – Randy Pausch
Nancy Gibbs on Randy:
Wise men have said they’re not scared of death, but they’re a little scared of dying. Death is just a mystery: but dying is the journey we don’t want to take, and he used it to lead the living to a new place. It was as though he already knew more than he should, had dipped a ways into eternity and brought some pieces back for the rest of us to use in whatever ways and for whatever time we can.