EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — A college professor, whose lecture about facing a terminal illness became a YouTube phenomenon, did much to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer and needed research dollars before his death Friday at age 47, the head of an El Segundo-based patient advocacy organization said.Â
Carnegie Mellon University professor Randy Pausch died at his Chesapeake, Va., home after a two-year battle with the disease.
Â “The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network offers its condolences to the Pausch family and all who were inspired by his life and ‘last lecture,'” said the group’s president and chief executive, Julie Fleshman.
“Our organization is eternally grateful for his advocacy efforts, and we will continue to carry his message forward as we fight this terrible disease,” she said.
Â Pausch gave a face to pancreatic cancer, the most under-recognized of all leading cancer killers, by speaking out publicly, according to Fleshman.
Â Wall Street Journal columnist Jeffrey Zaslow’s reporting on Pausch’s lecture brought him national attention and led to a best-selling book.
The computer science professor became famous after giving a plucky “last lecture” about celebrating life in the face of the terminal disease with which he was diagnosed in September 2006.
Â A pioneer in the field of virtual reality, he became a professor at his alma mater, where he co-founded its Entertainment Technology Center and developed programs to make teaching computer science and animation more fun for students.
Â Pausch, who helped develop the Alice 3D-animation software and worked at times for Disney and Electronic Arts, leaves behind a wife and three young children.
I wrote about the inspirationalÂ PauschÂ last September after reading that WSJ story.Â Â Â My post, and the video of his last lecture, can be read/viewed here.Â He was an incredible man who lived more in his 47 years thanÂ many who have lived to see their “seasoned citizen” days.
RIP, Randy Pausch.