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The Last Lecture By Randy Pausch

Updated on July 13, 2015

Randy Pausch: Computer Scientist

When I picked up the book, "the Last Lecture" from the library, I didn't know what to expect. I had not seen the entire video of Randy Pausch's lecture online so I guess I figured the book was going to be a synopsis of the lecture. It was not. Instead it was the story of Randy's life.

Dr. Randy Pausch, the scientist just stating the facts, while at many points I was reduced to tears. Over and over I wondered how this man could be so strong in the face of a terminal illness.

He lived his life the way he always had; day by day having fun and going after what he wanted no matter what "wall" he had to climb. Randy did not make it over his last and most challenging wall; or did he? We see the legacy that Randy has left not only for his family but for all of us who choose to read his words and change the way we live our lives.


Randy Pausch

Professor, Carnegie Mellon

Randy was born in 1960 and lived until 2008 when he succumbed to pancreatic cancer. He was a computer scientist and university professor at Carnegie Mellon.

Randy married late in life to Jai who was a graduate student he met while visiting a university in California. They had three young children. Randy was diagnosed in September, 2006 and after a period of treatment he was told that his cancer was terminal in August 2007.

The last lecture series was a common practice at the university. It gave a chance to lecturers to pick a topic they would like to speak on as if it were the last of their career. Randy was scheduled to give "the last lecture" before his terminal diagnosis and now it was very real.

Preparing for the lecture would take time away from his family and he and his wife Jai struggled with the decision to go forward. Eventually Randy, ever the teacher, decided it was something he must do. With Jai's support, he decided to base his last lecture on achieving your childhood dreams.

Video of the Actual Last Lecture - Randy Pausch


"The key question to keep asking is, Are you spending your time on the right things? Because time is all you have" ~ Randy Pausch

The Book - The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture

Click on the link above to check the price on Amazon.

This is a book worth owning so you can refer to it time and time again.

We all need little reminders of how precious life is. This book should be kept on your night stand and each time you wake up to a new day it is a constant reminder that others, who had a lot to give the world, are gone. You will certainly be encouraged to use your day wisely.

The Legacy of Randy Pausch - Resources Online



“Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other” ~ Randy Pausch

Jai Pausch

Randy's wife Jai continued on in his absence. Her life better for having known him. She has written a book to help others deal with the loss of loved ones. It can be hard to accept as in marriage we just assume we will grow old together. Life does go on and Randy lived it to his fullest right to the end and spread that word to everyone he could. Jai continues to write the story of Randy.

A book written by his wife Jai Pausch

Lectures can be inspiring


Have you read the book: The Last Lecture?

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"Time is all you have and you may find one day that you have less than you think" ~ Randy Pausch

Do Books like "The Last Lecture" Inspire you? - What is your Inspiration?

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    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 3 years ago

      I never read the book but I have seen the lecture, which is very powerful.

    • Nanciajohnson profile image

      Nancy Johnson 5 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      I have heard of Randy Pausch and have not yet listened to or read his book but sure am interested now.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 5 years ago

      I have seen the lecture on video, but have not read the book. Also I was not aware of his wife's book. Thanks for this reminder.

    • Normyo Yonormyo profile image

      Normyo Yonormyo 5 years ago

      No books about other people do not inspire me. As I can not live the lives of others, all I can do is live my own life. I might get ideas about what is possible in life and have more appreciation for the lives of others and life itself, but I do not get motivated.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I loved this book and the wisdom of using time more positively.

    • PlethoraReader profile image

      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      I have read this book several times when feeling challenged by what is going on in my life. He had an incredible attitude and outlook in life. Thank you for a great article!

    • DLeighAlexander profile image

      DLeighAlexander 5 years ago

      Sounds like a good book to read.

    • tekaha profile image

      tekaha 5 years ago

      this book was incredibly inspiring! such a great read to reframe how you think about life!