Randy Pausch Has Died

By Deane Barker on July 25, 2008

‘Last Lecture’ professor dies at 47: Very sad. The Last Lecture was incredible.

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.

I had been following his update page. There hadn’t been an update in a while, though I see someone posted yesterday.

I was a little shocked to read this headline this morning. After I listened to The Last Lecture, he seemed so dynamic, so larger-than-life, that I somehow thought he was going to beat it.

I was at DisneyWorld five years ago and went to DisneyQuest, the uber-arcade. I loved it then, though it was a little dated when I went there last year. The river rafting and pirate VR games were amazing, and I was delighted to hear during Pausch’s lecture that he helped design both of them while on sabbatical with the Imagineers.

Do yourself a favor, and sometime in the next 24 hours, watch The Last Lecture.



  1. Here is my adaptation or what I gathered from Randy, the lecture, his goals, his interviews, etc…keep in mind people he never said any of these things – just my thoughts…

    1. Mac & Cheese and Hot Dogs are the best meal in the world.
    2. Arguments are effective if you hold a grudge like a 5-yr old.
    3. Many people die without ever experiencing life.
    4. You may experience more life at 5-yrs old than you will at 55-yrs old.
    5. Focus on the opportunity you have – ok, he did kinda say this ;)

    In the end, Randy seemed to be about living life, enabling others to live the life they want (dreams) and understood we are ALL terminal.

    How long is your own cancer? 3-6 months or 60 years? Either way, your countdown has begun. Seize the childlike wonder inside while maintaining the responsibilities needed to be productive.

    One Fun Sidenote- I love basketball. My boys love basketball. My boys wear full team jerseys a bunch – everyday it seems – they love em and look great in them, all kids do. I again wear jerseys and we go out to get ice cream on our weekly “jersey” day. A simple thing – may look stupid to some people – who cares, it rocks! Up to 6 jerseys and counting again – even matching shorts to go with 2 of them ;)

    For anyone who liked the lecture and Randy, I suggest old Crocodile Hunter shows. I always felt Steve Irwin was the master at capturing life with child-like enthusiasm. I still miss Steve.

  2. The death rate never changes: one per person.

    Sometimes it feels harder to enjoy each day when you think you have dozens of years left.

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