Randy Pausch Has Passed Away

Dr. Randy Pausch, the inspirational professor and Trek fan who has a cameo in the new Star Trek film, has passed away. Professor Pausch died at his home in Virginia this morning, bringing to an end his battle with pancreatic cancer. His celebrated ‘last lecture’ inspired millions, including director JJ Abrams who reached out to Pausch personally and offered the role.

Pausch, who founded the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University, became a media star last Fall after delivering an inspiration lecture at CMU. Video of the lecture became an internet sensation, which led to massive media coverage, and release on a book. This popularity was due to how, even though he was truly giving his ‘last lecture,’ Dr. Paush was able to inspire people’s lives. The obituary at the Pittsburgh Post Gazette notes:

In the year preceding the lecture, he had gone through rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, but refused to give in to morbidity or self-pity. Instead of focusing on the cancer, he talked about how to fulfill childhood dreams and the lessons he learned on his life’s journey.

Dr. Paush ended his lecture by saying:

…we don’t beat the Reaper by living longer. We beat the Reaper by living well.

According to the Pittsburgh Post, 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.

Related: Inspirational Professor Offered Part In Star Trek

[AP, Pittsburg Post]

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July 25, 2008 8:03 am

Wow. Amazing man and story.

July 25, 2008 8:05 am

RIP Dr. Pausch. You were an inspiration.

Rhett Coates
July 25, 2008 8:10 am

God Bless you, Randy. Perhaps I’m speaking for many when I say “I’m looking forward to [Meeting] you when I sit in the theater on May 8, 2009…..”

capt mike
July 25, 2008 8:13 am

Rest in peace Sir and may your life continue to help others and make theres lives live long and prosper.

July 25, 2008 8:30 am

Rest easy Dr. Pausch.

Chris Doohan
July 25, 2008 8:32 am

This is very sad news. He was a great man and an inspiration to many, including me. I was so happy to hear that J.J. gave him a small role on the new Star Trek and I was really hoping that he would make it long enough to see himself when the movie premiered in May. Thank you J.J. for making one of his dreams come true.

You will be missed my friend. Beam him up, dad.

July 25, 2008 8:32 am

I’m not a mystical person by any means but I have had a feeling about Dr. Pausch and have been checking his site everyday. But I came here first and…uh…well, it’s pretty awful. Although also pretty great because he got well over the 6 months of good health that he thought he might get, and he used his time brilliantly.

I think part of me still believes that I am not going to die, but Randy Pausch shows us that that wishfulness is both wrong and unnecessary; how proper time management allows us to live our all our dreams.

THX-1138 The Fandom Menace
July 25, 2008 8:52 am

We speak often about the merits and drawbacks to Star Trek’s villians, but one of our real world’s most insidious villians is cancer. Those who know me here know that I’ve had several of my family members battle cancer to varying degrees of success. I lost my parents, but my wife’s battle has been very positive so far. We still have a long way to go.

Dr. Pausch was and is an inspiration to my family and many others certainly. Sometimes when we pay respects online, we simply post a period, but I wanted to say more, in respect to this inspiring man.

And Chris Doohan, your post brought a tear to my eyes.


Aldo F. Rodriguez
July 25, 2008 9:01 am

#8 – Here , here!

God Bless and Godspeed to you and your family.

We miss you, Mr. Doohan. :(

warbird Valdore
July 25, 2008 9:03 am

May you rest in peace and always travel among the stars.

July 25, 2008 9:06 am

R.I.P. Randy, you were an inspiration to us all. May God bless you and keep you safe on your journey.

July 25, 2008 9:09 am

I am very sad and heartbroken to hear of Randy’s passing.

I discovered his “Last Lecture” as many did on ‘You Tube’! His Last Lecture inspired me to grab hold of some of those childhood dreams I let get away and bring them to life! Thanks to Randy, I now have that Backyard Garden Railway and Pond I always dreamed about! Thanks to Randy, I see my life in a whole new perspective! And Thanks to Randy, all is well!

I will miss him as I would a brother and I will always keep his memory with me!

And yes, I too have stuffed animals! :-)


Mr. Penguin
July 25, 2008 9:11 am

RIP Randy Pausch. I watched his lecture online about 7 months ago, and that last quote really summed it up for me. It’s not about living the longest, but living the best life you can. Dr. Pausch has succeeded in that, and may God bless his soul.

Captain Hackett
July 25, 2008 9:14 am

Dr. Pausch is truly a great inspiration to me. I read his Last Lecture several months ago and my reaction was Wow!

It is the same kind of disease that killed my mother 11 years ago.. Dr. Pausch fought against that nasty disease with a great courage and heart.

He is in better place with God. My heartfelt condolence is for his family.

July 25, 2008 9:16 am

RIP. Wonderful and moving tributes in all the posts.

July 25, 2008 9:18 am

What a great man. Best wished to all those lucky enough to know him.

The Staff , Cast and Crew of Star Trek : Phase 2 offer our sincere condolences to the family of Randy Pausch. He was an inspiration to us all. Gods Speed.

July 25, 2008 9:55 am

6. Chris Doohan – July 25, 2008

“…You will be missed my friend. Beam him up, dad.”

What a fine post.

this is now on the wall of my workspace and at home. Great words…

“…we don’t beat the Reaper by living longer. We beat the Reaper by living well.” — Dr. Randy Pausch

Rhett Coates
July 25, 2008 9:57 am

SOME TEXT from the AP Wire report on his passing:

“….Pausch lobbied Congress for more federal funding for pancreatic cancer research and appeared on “Oprah” and other TV shows. In what he called “a truly magical experience,” he was even invited to appear as an extra in the upcoming “Star Trek” movie.

He had one line of dialogue, got to keep his costume and donated his $217.06 paycheck to charity. ….”

WOW. Just, WOW. What a guy. And, I also read in the news piece that he was only 47 years old: I’m that age! That hits too close to home, and also that he was residing less than an hour from me in southeast Virginia, too. Yeah: just, “Wow.”

Rest in peace, Randy. You were a true insparation.

July 25, 2008 10:10 am

What a tragic loss.

I guess the best we can do is honor his memory by living well.

Best wishes to his family and friends.

RIP Dr. Pausch

July 25, 2008 10:14 am

It was truly a class move on behalf of J.J. Abrams to invite Dr Pausch on set for a cameo.

July 25, 2008 10:31 am

-..Rest in peace….!!

July 25, 2008 10:35 am

Shoot, I was hoping he could’ve stuck around long enough to see himself in the movie. Well, at least his family will get to see him up there, RIP.

July 25, 2008 10:38 am

Very sad news.

July 25, 2008 10:40 am

He was an inspiration for me and will be missed so much by us!
Best wishes to his family!

Star Trek: Voyeur
July 25, 2008 10:49 am

“He’s not really dead. As long as we remember him….”

July 25, 2008 11:18 am

How wonderful that he was able to participate and complete his brief work on the film before passing. JJ was a class act for seeking him out to be a part of this. And I’m sure Dr. Pausch’s courage and optimistic worldview will continue to inspire many people for decades to come.

July 25, 2008 11:25 am

What a wondeful man and an awesome inspiring story! RIP Dr. Paush.
His last lecture truley opened my eyes to so many things in this world. He will be deeply missed. Its not offen one finds a person who truley touches lives. Prayers to him and his family. And thanks to JJ for making his dream come true.

Now hes with Scotty and Dr. McCoy.

arturo diaz
July 25, 2008 11:28 am

Thank you for the inspiration Dr. Pausch, a thought and a prayer for you…

July 25, 2008 11:31 am

I’ve passed his book on to my mother. My wife is reading it now. My 12-old son is hopefully next. (But I have a feeling I’ll be buying some paint supplies for his room soon thereafter.)

Terrific advise and lessons. It’s worth every one’s time to read it. (And of course, he wanted to be Captain James T. Kirk.)

We’ll miss you Randy. May the wind be at your back.

July 25, 2008 12:19 pm

this was a touching story. I will look for him in this new movie.

im sure, like the crew of the spaceship challenger, his courageous spirit shall live to the 23rd century,…………………… and beyond.


July 25, 2008 12:45 pm

Live Long and Prosper….What a positive thinking man, we need more like him on this planet, he will be missed, may God bless him and his family. He will indeed Live long and Prosper and continue to inspire people and families who are dealing with cancer for many years to come.
‘ Shortly his story and life will be passed down to the next generation and To, them and their posterity do we commit his enthusiasm, Boldy Going, Where no ,man…No One Has Gone Before’

Anthony Thompson
July 25, 2008 1:01 pm

Great man, great spirit, great message.

July 25, 2008 1:17 pm

Rest in peace, man. You did plenty of good while you were here.

July 25, 2008 1:44 pm

Impressive man, impressive things he’s done to inspire many of us. RIP

July 25, 2008 2:02 pm

Extremely sad to hear this. My condolences go out to his young family. Mr. Pausch was a real inspiration.

Now, a simple plea to Mr. Abrams and crew: you must acknowledge Mr. Pausch in the film with a dedication or something. He truly embodied the Trek/ Roddenberry philosophy of looking at the future in a positive light while helping those both around you and abroad.

Again, Rest in Peace Mr. Pausch.

July 25, 2008 3:04 pm

Would it be an idea to dedicate the movie to his memory? I think JJ Abrams should consider it. Men like him don’t come around that often. His speech will be played into the 23rd century.

Patrick, ireland

July 25, 2008 3:15 pm

“””…we don’t beat the Reaper by living longer. We beat the Reaper by living well.””””

Exactly what fictional Soran could not get through his head.

“”What we leave behind isn’t as important as how we’ve lived.”” ====Picard

This man certainly lived well and will be remembered long after.

Rest in peace Trek Professor.

Kah’ plah!

Len Krieger
July 25, 2008 3:34 pm

Here was a man who embodied the positive outlook on life.

It would be a fitting tribute to this man if the New Star Trek Movie was dedicated in his name and memory.

July 25, 2008 4:59 pm

I was really hoping he would live long enough to see the new movie. I knew he likely wouldn’t make it, but there was nothing wrong with hoping. :(

RIP, Mr. Pausch. My condolences to his family and friends.

Jeff Jacobs
July 25, 2008 7:50 pm

I’m a CMU alumnus who is the same age as Dr. Pausch. I saw the lecture and read the book, both of which had a profound impact on me. And, in a very eerie twist of fate, my daughter, who will be starting at CMU in 3 weeks received a copy of the book in the mail – all incoming students are receiving them this year as part of their student orientation!

Xplodin' Nacelle
July 25, 2008 7:53 pm

I hope his part in the new movie gets some plubicity. I saw three local news reports, & none of them mentioned his upcoming cameo in Trek.

This man’s life embodied the optimistic spirit of Trek, & it’d be an excellent, additional legacy if he was forever linked to the franchise in the general public’s consiousness.

I think he’d get a kick out of the Klingon saying from TSFS, “You will be remembered w/ honor.”

July 25, 2008 8:25 pm

May he rest in peace… The world needs more people like him…

Johnny Ice
July 25, 2008 8:51 pm

Sad News indeed R.I.P. Dr. Pausch
Weren’t there recently in the news about new breakthrough drug against this type of cancer.? I saw it in BCC.
Imagine wasting billions on Iraq War instead using it finding drugs against diseases like cancer.

Katie G.
July 25, 2008 10:17 pm

#6. Chris Doohan

“…Beam him up, dad.”

Chris, you’re amazing. What a great thought!!



July 25, 2008 10:59 pm

Your Spirit Go On,,,Dr. Pausch. Go On.

July 26, 2008 2:53 am

Certainly a man who fit Roddenberry’s vision of hope for the future. Dr. Pauch really did ride that wagon-train to the stars…and still does.

Charles Stansell
July 26, 2008 10:13 am

As Ronald Reagan once said, “To touch the face of God.: Randy, your work has only just begun. Rest in peace. See you on the other side.

Jay - "The Real Jim Kirk"
July 26, 2008 10:35 am

Goodnight dear friend, sleep well.