Like many people, I first heard about Randy Pausch when he became an internet sensation with his "last lecture." And a sensation it was. Pausch’s last lecture at Carnegie Mellon University in September 2007 attracted international acclaim and was viewed by several million on the Internet.
Pausch also collaborated with Wall Street Journal writer and author Jeffery Zaslow for a best-selling book about his last lecture. The book has remained at the top of non-fiction best sellers lists since its publication in April of 2007.
According to the AP, Pausch was diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer in September 2006. More from the AP:
"At Carnegie Mellon, Pausch was a professor of computer science,
human-computer interaction and design, and was recognized as a pioneer
of virtual reality research. On campus, he became known for his
flamboyance and showmanship as a teacher and mentor.
The speech last fall was part of a series Carnegie Mellon called
"The Last Lecture," where professors were asked to think about what
matters to them most and give a hypothetical final talk. The name of
the lecture series was changed to "Journeys" before Pausch spoke,
something he joked about in his lecture.
"I thought, damn, I finally nailed the venue and they renamed it," he said.
He told the packed auditorium he fulfilled almost all his childhood
dreams — being in zero gravity, writing an article in the World Book
Encyclopedia and working with the Walt Disney Co.
The one that eluded him? Playing in the National Football League."
I guess if playing in the NFL is the one goal in life that eluded him, he did pretty darn well for himself.
Folks like Pausch inspire me to reach for bigger goals and try difficult things. I like that about him and people like him. They make me realize that effort pays off and dreams can come true. We have a saying here at Quicken Loans – "you’ll see it when you believe it."
Randy Pausch’s life was living proof.
Goodbye Mr. Pausch.