The uplifting 'Last Lecture' man dies at 47

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The Independent US

The inevitable death of Randy Pausch, the science professor who delivered a now-famous "last lecture" to students after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, was being mourned across America yesterday.

A statement released on Friday confirmed that Pausch, 47, had passed away at his family home in Chesapeake, Virginia, ten months after his inspiring hour-long talk on "realising your childhood dreams" became a YouTube hit and publishing phenomenon. The cause of his death was metastasised pancreatic cancer, said a spokesman for Carnegie Mellon University. He had survived for more than twice as long as medical experts had predicted last year.

Pausch became a global hero thanks to his farewell lecture, which was videoed. In a routine that saw him performing press-ups in front of a giant screen showing a CT scan of his tumour-ridden liver, he was said to have succeeded in teaching Americans how to live.

The audience of approximately 400 students at Carnegie Mellon was told of his childhood ambitions – which ranged from walking in zero gravity, to designing Disney rides – before hearing how each had been successfully realised.

A book of the lecture became an international bestseller, resulting in Pausch being named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world.