The Last Lecture website explains the story better than I could.
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.
Randy’s lecture has become a phenomenon, as has the book he wrote based on the same principles, celebrating the dreams we all strive to make realities. Sadly, Randy lost his battle to pancreatic cancer on July 25th, 2008, but his legacy will continue to inspire us all, for generations to come.
The Last Lecture is an interesting and an inspiring book. The courage and dignity with which Randy Pausch dealt his illness is really something. And, to create such a lasting legacy in the face of such a devastating setback is heroic.
If you haven’t read the book yet, you’re really missing out.
P.S. You can see some videos on this Carnegie Mellon page.