A couple of years ago, I was captivated (along with millions of others) with Professor Randy Pausch and his battle with pancreatic cancer. He’s known to a lot of people as “The Last Lecture” guy. Sadly, Professor Pausch passed away, but not with leaving an indelible mark on everyone who heard him speak. Proving that the apple does not fall far from the tree, his eight-year-old son has taken up the fight against pancreatic cancer.
I don’t want to get too maudlin about Professor’s Pausch’s passing. I don’t know the man so it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to do a tribute to him. I was simply inspired by his courage like the rest of the world. So the best thing to do is to present him in his own words. Here he is answering 10 questions from readers of Time Magazine.
The Carnegie Mellon professor who inspired the world with his tremendous attitude and will to celebrate life despite having terminal pancreatic cancer has passed away. Randy Pausch entered the public arena when his “Last Lecture” was recorded in front a packed theater on the campus of Carnegie Mellon and later released on Youtube and other video sharing sites. The lecture was later turned into a bestselling book. He is survived by his wife and three children.
The family requests that donations on his behalf be directed to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 2141 Rosecrans Ave., Suite 7000, El Segundo, Calif. 90245, or to Carnegie Mellon’s Randy Pausch Memorial Fund, which primarily supports the university’s continued work on the Alice project.
You can find more information here: Randy Pausch, noted CMU prof, succumbs to cancer
The stats show you love Randy Pausch (Well all but one of you. Still can’t wrap my head around that, but to each his own). No updates on his health, but here he is at Carnegie Mellon’s graduation.
For those of you who are tracking Randy Pausch’s treatment for pancreatic cancer. There is nothing new to report since May 13, but I did find this interesting item online. You may remember from Professor Pausch’s Last Lecture that he is a Captain Kirk and Star Trek Fan. Well, the director of the new Star Trek movie, J.J. Abrams, contacted the professor and offered him a part in the movie. Here’s the email Abrams sent Pausch:
Dear Randy –
Hi there — I’m JJ Abrams, director of the new Star Trek movie. I read about you and your condition, and ALSO your affinity for things Trek.
So, I just wanted to put the invitation out there — that if you had any desire to be in the film (can’t promise you role as CAPTAIN, but… we could do SOMETHING!), it would be my honor and pleasure.
The last thing I want to do is intrude, so feel free not to reply — but I wanted to make sure you knew that, if you are willing and able, the door is wide open.
I hope that your treatments are going well and that we get to meet one day.
Very cool. The good professor accepted the invitation and will indeed appear in the movie. Here’s what he had to say about the experience:
Jai & I hopped a plane to LA, where I got a custom-made Star Trek uniform and my own station on the bridge, where I had lots of buttons and controls. I even got a LINE!!!!
Very cool. You can visit Randy’s website for more interesting Pausch facts.
According to the WordPress stats a lot of you are still interested in Randy Pausch’s battle with cancer. I somehow have become somewhat of a clearing house of Pausch information so I feel obligated to track his progress and treatment. It’s not too much of a bother really because I was inspired by his courage as I’m sure many of you were.
The latest news is not good. He is reporting on his website the cancer has spread, and that he is currently recovering from kidney and heart failure.
You can read his latest update here in his own words: May 2nd, 2008: Cancer spreads
Hyperion Publishing gave Professor Randy Pausch a $6.7 million advance for a book based on his now famous “Last Lecture” given at Carnegie Mellon (if you don’t know who Pausch is, you can see the lecture by clicking here: Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch Gives Inspirational “Last” Lecture). Many pointed out that this is an example of what is wrong with the publishing industry. I have to disagree. I think this is what’s right with the publishing industry. Randy became an Internet phenomenon. Millions watched his lecture online. It’s heartfelt and inspirational. I have no doubt that this investment will pay off for Hyperion (consider the money they will make off of selling International rights, film rights, etc.) Giving Paris Hilton a multi-million dollar advance is what’s wrong with the publishing industry.
I’m happy to report that Randy Pausch’s book is number one on Amazon and it has been for quite some time now. Good on you Professor Pausch.
BTW – Some people have actually given it a one star review and attacked Pausch. These same reviewers no doubt have a closet full of coats made out of puppies.
I found another video of Randy Pausch. This one is given after his “Last Lecture” at Carnegie Mellon. It takes place at University of Virginia. The subject is Time Management. Even he points out the irony of a dying man giving a speech on time management. Who better to give it? Again, it’s a long run time, but it is worth the time. If you’re reading this on my Amazon blog, I don’t think you’ll be able to see the video because it’s a Google feed. You can click here if there’s no video window below: R.W. Ridley.