Randy Pausch, ‘Last Lecture’ Prof, Dies at 47

Randy Pausch finally succumbed to pancreatic cancer this morning.

Randy Pausch emphasized the joy of life in his 'last lecture,' originally given in September 2007. 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.”

On the contrary. A sad loss.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. James says:

    A true hero. I only wish if I were to face such a fate I could keep it as positive as he. My sorrows go out to the family who lost a good man.

  2. Our Paul says:

    Do you have a link to that final speech?

  3. Sarg says:

    I saw his lecture and it really was moving, to think that he had such a positive outlook even knowing that death was over his shoulder he truly was an amazing person. His children will be better for having him as a father. His passing is a great loss for society.

  4. Our Paul says:

    For those interested, the link is here.