The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch is quite possibly my favorite piece of non-fiction writing this year. Randy Pausch was a Professor at Carnegie-Mellon University and a pioneer in the field of Virtual Reality. If you play Oculus, it’s because of him.


Goodreads/ Amazon

Rating- 5/5 stars

Publisher- Hodder & Stoughton

Pages- 206 (Paperback)

I saw his Last Lecture when I was in my junior year of college and was going through possible schools to apply to. His lecture made me want to join Carnegie if only to walk the same halls as he did. Randy Pausch passed away in 2008 because of cancer.

His book, the Last Lecture, is a collection of lessons, in a way, from his life. It’s based on his last lecture at Carnegie and talks about achieving your dreams, no matter how bizarre. It may come from a mostly scientific mind, but it does apply to all fields.

I absolutely loved this book. It made me and broke me, made me see things in a different way, and it made me realize that I need to take every opportunity I get. Small or big, it will lead to something in the future.

This book is absolutely wonderful. It talks about the joys of life and fighting through the pain and living each day as it comes to its fullest potential with no possibility for regrets. It is brutally honest and gently nurturing, this book is a gem and I cannot thank my mother enough for buying it.

A 5/5 stars without a doubt.

I am flattered and embarassed by all the recent attention to my “Last Lecture.” I am told that, including abridged versions, over six million people have viewed the lecture online. The lecture really was for my kids, but if others are finding value in it, that is wonderful. But rest assured; I’m hardly unique. Send your kids to Carnegie Mellon and the other professors here will teach them valuable life lessons long after I’m gone. — Randy

Randy Pausch was a Professor of Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States and a best-selling author, who achieved worldwide fame for his “The Last Lecture” speech on September 18, 2007 at Carnegie Mellon University.

In August 2006, Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He pursued a very aggressive cancer treatment that included Whipple procedure surgery and experimental chemotherapy; however, in August 2007, he was told the cancer had metastasized to his liver and spleen, which meant it was terminal. He then started palliative chemotherapy, intended to extend his life as long as possible. At that time, doctors estimated he would remain healthy for another three to six months. On May 2, 2008, a PET scan showed that his cancer had spread to his lungs, some lymph nodes in his chest and that he had some metastases in his peritoneum and retroperitoneum.

On June 26, 2008, Pausch indicated that he was considering stopping further chemotherapy because of the potential adverse side effects. He was, however, considering some immuno-therapy-based approaches.

On July 24, 2008, on behalf of Pausch, his friend (anonymous) posted a message on Pausch’s webpage indicating cancer progression further than what was expected from recent PET scans and Pausch becoming more sick than ever. It was announced that his family had sent him into a hospice program — palliative care to those at the end of life.

On July 25, 2008, Diane Sawyer announced on Good Morning America that Pausch had died earlier that morning.


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