Randy Pausch, the computer science professor whose book "The Last Lecture" became a best-seller, died of pancreatic cancer on Friday. He was 47.
Pausch's inspirational tome
was written as part of Carnegie Mellon University's series of speeches last fall of the same name in which professors were asked to consider the things that matter to them most and devise a final talk for their students.
He later dictated the book to Jeffrey Zazlow, a Wall Street writer who co-wrote the sage words of advice that have now inspired millions in print and on the internet.
"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."
Pausch was diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer in September 2006. He spoke at Carnegie Mellon's commencement ceremony in May, telling graduates what was important to him was that "pretty much any time I got a chance to do something cool, I tried to grab for it, and that's where my solace comes from."
"We don't beat the reaper by living longer, we beat the reaper by living well and living fully," he said.
Born in 1960, Pausch received his bachelors in computer science from Brown University and hid PhD from Carnegie Mellon. He is a co-founder of Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center, which offers a master's program combining artistry and engineering. The school dedicated a footbridge in his honor.
He is survived by his wife Jai and their three children, Dylan, Logan and Chloe. In a statement on Friday, Jai said her husband was proud that his work "inspired parents to revisit their priorities, particularly their relationships with their children
Watch Pausch's speech in its entirety below: