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Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon University who turned his battle with pancreatic cancer into a lesson about how to live, died over the weekend. He was 47.

Pausch’s approach to life and death has been well-chronicled over the past year or so because of his “last lecture” given to his Carnegie Mellon students and associates after his diagnosis; made available on the Internet, the 70-minute talk was not maudlin, but rather was an enthusiastic lesson from a natural teacher about hopes and dreams and turning those two things into realities. Subsequently turned into a book, “The Last Lecture” has become a kind of cultural touchstone for many of us – people of all ages have read the book and watched the video and thought about their own relationships and priorities.

Pausch leaves a wife and three children, but he also leaves a legacy of grace, equanimity, and boundless enthusiasm for life and learning. Even among those of us who never met him, he will be missed.

KC's View:
I’m rethinking my headline. My 14-year-old daughter is reading the book, and was watching the video last night, so Pausch’s voice has not, in fact, been stilled.

Which is the real value of a great teacher.