By Mark O’Neill
A university professor who is dying of cancer and whose “Last Lecture” became a viral sensation on YouTube is now seeing that lecture become number one on online bestseller lists.
Randy Pausch, a computer-science professor from Carnegie Mellon University, is dying from pancreatic cancer and at the time of his lecture last year, he was expected to live for only a few months. But ironically enough, he is still alive today, having had the immense strength and fortitude to fight the illness.
He was invited to Carnegie Mellon last year to give a “last lecture”. Other people have done this and for them, it was a hypothetical exercise. For Professor Pausch however, with time rapidly running out, it was definately not hypothetical. He gave the best line ever which cracked up the audience : “I’ve experienced a deathbed conversion : I bought a Macintosh!”
His lecture is all about perserverence and not giving up. It was a moving speech and it was taped for his very young kids so they can watch their dad when they are older and when he’s not around anymore. At the end, a birthday cake was rolled out for his wife, whose birthday was the previous day. At this point, I lost it completely and I was bawling my eyes out.
And now he has turned the whole lecture into a book called “The Last Lecture“. He’s appeared on Oprah (of course) and he’s now a superstar.
And here is the lecture that started it all: