Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow
2008 Art Buchwald Award Recipients
On September 18, 2007, computer science professor Randy Pausch stepped in front of an audience of 400 people at Carnegie Mellon University to deliver a last lecture called “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” With slides of his CT scans beaming out to the audience, Randy told his audience about the cancer that is devouring his pancreas and that will claim his life in a matter of months. On the stage that day, Randy was youthful, energetic, handsome, often cheerfully, darkly funny. He seemed invincible. But this was a brief moment, as he himself acknowledged.
The lecture he gave wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.
Randy’s lecture became a phenomenon, as did the book he wrote based on the same principles, celebrating the dreams we all strive to make realities. Pausch wrote his book with the assistance of Wall Street Journal columnist Jeffrey Zaslow. (Read Zaslow's column) on Pausch's lecture.
Randy lost his battle to pancreatic cancer on July 25th, 2008.
Jeffrey Zaslow, who coauthored the book with Pausch, accepted the Art Buchwald Award at The Washington Home and Community Hospices Gala on November 8, 2009, on behalf of them both. The Last Lecture is a book about living the time one has as best one can. This is the mission of hospice care - to assist those facing the end of life to live their remaining time to the fullest.