Living Life While Facing Death

Professor's 'last lecture' inspires millions through viral Internet video
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2008 7:32 PM CDT

Professor Randy Pausch may be dying of pancreatic cancer, but a video of his “last lecture” continues to inspire millions around the world, the Independent reports. Pausch delivered his speech, titled "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” to laughter and tears at Carnegie Mellon in September. Picked up by the Wall Street Journal, then by the likes of Oprah and Good Morning America, the talk by the 47-year-old father of three is now a certified phenomenon.

“It was like watching Babe Ruth hit his last home run,” says the Journal's Jeff Zaslow, whose column helped launch the frenzy and who is now collaborating on a book with Pausch. The professor's optimistic philosophy advises the audience (and his children) to always retain their "childlike wonder." Pausch has lobbied Congress to earmark $170 million for research on pancreatic cancer. (More cancer stories.)

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