A Father’s Farewell

Before his life drew to a close, Randy Pausch revealed in an interview and a book excerpt what matters most.

A note from the editors of Reader’s Digest:

Early on Friday morning, July 25, 2008, Randy Pausch passed away in Virginia after a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 47.


He leaves a wife and three young children.

Randy PauschKristi Rines / Hobbs Studios
 Pausch’s bestselling book, “The Last Lecture” (Hyperion), has moved countless people across the country with its compelling message of “savor every moment.” His video lecture has also been watched by millions on the web and on TV.

Earlier this year, Pausch spoke with Reader’s Digest about what matters most in life — making memories with his wife and three children.

Watch a video of the Last Lecture

Read an excerpt from his book

Dealing with Bad News

Many colleges ask beloved professors to give their version of a “last lecture”-what they’d say if they were summing up a lifetime of learning and teaching. But at Carnegie Mellon University on September 18, 2007, Randy Pausch gave a last lecture unlike any other. A year earlier, he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, a deadly, fast-moving disease. And just weeks before the lecture, he’d learned that cancer had attacked his liver and spleen. The prognosis: Randy Pausch had less than six months to live.

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