Randy Pausch was born on October 23, 1960, under the astrological sign of Scorpio. Scorpios are known for their powerful personalities, passion for communication and intellectual pursuits, and drive to look beyond the surface and get to the heart of the matter. This description certainly matches Randy Pausch: He was an internationally recognized professor and author, and is most widely known for his “Last Lecture”, an optimistic speech given just three months before his death in which he discussed his accomplished life and the importance of achieving your childhood dreams.
Randy Pausch was born in Baltimore, Maryland to a large family in which hard work was a given and financial strain was a constant. His drive and commitment to studying and succeeding academically was a large part of how he was able to afford college. He earned his undergrad degree from Brown University in 1982 and his PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1988. During this period, Pausch was highly influenced by his mentor, Professor Donald Marine, who ultimately gave him an opportunity to teach at Carnegie Mellon in the fall of 1988.
Randy had a passion for teaching and many of his student-supported projects were the inspirations for his most successful works, The Last Lecture and Reality Check. Both books aimed to impart knowledge and valuable life lessons to readers, stressing the importance of hard work and mental resilience. In The Last Lecture, Randy discussed his end-of-life diagnosis with terminal pancreatic cancer, how he navigated the news with his family, and the importance of staying true to your childhood dreams. Likewise, Reality Check was composed partially of a collection of lecture notes Pausch wrote over the years, as well as inspiring quotes and recollections of his life.
Just as Scorpios are inquisitive, determined and passionate individuals, Randy Pausch was incredibly driven in his academic and professional life, and his positive attitude, tenacity and ability to connect with people were all qualities which made his speeches and lectures so inspiring. Through his success and hard work, Randy leaves behind a legacy of defying the odds and understanding how to accomplish success and leverage his professional relationships and communication to reach great heights in the fields of both education and business.