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.