R.I.P. Randy Pausch

27 Jul

1960 – 2008

Late last year, someone sent me an email encouraging me to watch an extraordinary lecture by a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Randy Pausch, who had been recently diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.  His lecture, titled The Last Lecture, centered on truly realizing your childhood dreams and wound up becoming a viral sensation.   Ultimately, the lecture was modified into a best-selling book (a $6 million deal for Randy & his family).

Although the lecture was designed as a legacy for his three young children, it ended up being an inspiration to millions.  Randy’s contention was that if you live your life right, karma will take care of the rest.  I think that his last year, just like the rest of his life, proved that theory out.

If you haven’t experienced the lecture or even if you already have, I strongly encourage you to view it:

  Full lecture

While he explains that he totally understands exactly where his situation stood, he was humorous, engaging and thoroughly sincere in making people see a path to their dreams.  In the Spring, Oprah invited him to give an abridged version of his original 75 minute lecture on her show.  Interestingly, his mood is much more serious and emotional.  The difference in six months showed the psychological wear and tear of living with the fact that you are dying and seeing the affects on your friends and family.

  Abbreviated lecture on Oprah

Randy lost his battle with cancer on Friday, passing on at the age of 47.  However, his positive message of constant pursuit of happiness and dreams has been viewed by over four million viewers.  This lecture will stand as a testament to someone who truly influenced and impacted people lives with a simple example of living a good life — a life of purpose and pursuit.  In the end, Randy provided the perfect legacy for his children…and for many, many others — through his enthusiasm, humor and tenacity.

In a recent TIME interview, a reader asked a musical question of Randy: “What music do you turn to these days to help you get through?”  His answer was that he and his kids are particularly fond of Sgt. Pepper’s….a particluarly fitting piece.

  Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/With a Little Help From My Friends


Posted by on July 27, 2008 in inspiration, memorials, the beatles


6 responses to “R.I.P. Randy Pausch

  1. shrewspeaks

    July 27, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Now…this is amazing. How sad that someone so special is gone, yet how wonderful it is that Dr. Pausch chose to take time away from his family to share his message with all of us.

  2. Lovvy Yuvraj Keenoo

    March 29, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    really he was a gr8t man..

  3. Anthony

    June 3, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Rest in peace, Randy Pausch

    he didn’t need to act as it was really his last.

  4. Debi

    November 16, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    I first learned about Randy Pausch from Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America. For some strange reason, I was drawn to this interview. She also plugged her prime time interview with him that night, and I watched it. WoW! This was a very moving interview, and later, I found the lecture on YouTube and downloaded it. I have watched it several times, and even created a video compilation project for a technology class as a tribute to Randy Pausch. I’ve always viewed myself as an Eeyore, but I believe I am actually a Tigger.

  5. Kruthi

    February 7, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Dr Pausch has been nothing but a role model and an inspiration for me. I am currently getting my PhD in Immunology..and I do believe that I can really make my childhood dreams come true!!!!

    Thank you Dr Pausch and you will always be remembered…and thank you so much for making a difference.

  6. Lorraine Banerjei Sibal

    March 25, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Totally overwhelmed as I am, words fail me but I must say something.
    To Mrs Pausch…….please know that your late husband has been a HUGE inspiration to me.
    My very best wishes and prayers are for you and your children.



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