Page last updated at 10:34 GMT, Saturday, 26 July 2008 11:34 UK

US 'last lecture' academic dies

Randy Pausch
Many found the 'last lecture' inspirational

Randy Pausch, the university professor who created a "last lecture" celebrating life in the face of terminal cancer, has died aged 47.

The lecture entitled Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams became a best-selling book.

Video of the inspirational lecture also became a hit on the internet, where it was viewed by millions of people.

The US academic said that he had delivered the lecture as a guide for his three young children.

He died of pancreatic cancer at his home in Chesapeake, Virginia, said Jeffrey Zaslow, the Wall Street Journal writer who co-wrote the book The Last Lecture.

Fulfilling dreams

Prof Pausch, who taught computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September 2006.

A year later he delivered his 76-minute speech about fulfilling childhood dreams, living life to the fullest and having fun.

I'm attempting to put myself in a bottle that will one day wash up on the beach for my children
Randy Pausch

He spoke about the dreams he had achieved, such as writing a World Book Encyclopedia entry and experiencing zero gravity.

But he said he learned more from the dreams he had not achieved, such as his desire to be a professional football player.

"I'm attempting to put myself in a bottle that will one day wash up on the beach for my children," the university quoted him as saying.

The book, published in April, was translated into 30 languages and became an international bestseller, the university said on its website.

He is survived by his wife, Jai, and their three children.

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