The good-humored and incredibly brave soul of Randy Pausch passed away today at the hands of that hateful bastard, pancreatic cancer.
Randy was the Carnegie Mellon professor whose "last lecture" became a huge Internet phenomenon and became a best-selling book. I've read so much about this guy and was constantly amazed at how he stoically dealt with the horrible news that his cancer would soon take his life, leaving his wife a widow and his three young children without a father.
His reaction was to have as much fun as possible and pass along whatever gems of wisdom he had acquired in 47 years of life on Earth. So when the opportunity came, he shared as much we could handle. I read every interview I could get my hands on and marveled at how a man could summon the courage to say goodbye his family and still take the time to share with strangers his gifted insight.
I just kept thinking, "This is not a marketing stunt. There is no ulterior motive here. This guy is really going to die." Today, that horrible fact is driven home by Randy's passing.
Thankfully, he left with some fantastic advice in his lecture, "How To Achieve Your Childhood Dreams" in which he infuses humor, some push-ups and very sage advice:
"The brick walls are there for a reason ... to show us how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough. They're there to stop the other people."
Thanks so much, Randy. We wish you could have stayed longer.