Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon computer-sciences professor who became an Internet sensation for his upbeat and funny “last lecture” while battling terminal pancreatic cancer, died Friday at his Virginia home at the age of 47, USA Today reports.
In the September 2007 lecture, entitled “Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” an upbeat Pausch commented on everything from education and leadership to dating and his love of Star Trek. The speech – part of the “Last Lecture” series in which speakers imagine they’re giving their final lecture before dying – proved very popular on YouTube, leading to a best-selling book and Pausch appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show and being named Person of the Week by ABC News With Charles Gibson. J.J. Abrams, director of the Star Trek reboot, even gave Pausch a speaking cameo in the upcoming movie.
Pausch is survived by his wife, Jai, and their three children, his mother and sister.
– Michael Y. Park