PITTSBURGH—When Carnegie Mellon University Computer Science Professor Randy Pausch gave his famous last lecture on Sept. 18, 2007, Wall Street Journal reporter and Carnegie Mellon alumnus Jeffrey Zaslow (H&SS '80) was in the audience. The stories he wrote in his column Moving On, catapulted the terminally ill Pausch into an Internet phenomenon and international celebrity.
According to Zaslow, the lecture video was the most watched in WSJ.com history. And the story was most read and most e-mailed for weeks. "I've never gotten more emails or letters in response to a story in my 30 years in journalism," he said.
Subsequently, Pausch and Zaslow collaborated on a book, aptly titled The Last Lecture, which was published April 8 by Hyperion Books.
Zaslow will be visiting Carnegie Mellon April 14, to tell the university community and guests what's happened "Since the Last Lecture." Join him at 4:30 p.m., April 14 in the Chosky Theater to learn how the lecture and his collaboration with Pausch has changed their lives and helped to bring the issue of under funded pancreatic cancer research, the fourth most common cancer and the one least susceptible to treatment, to the forefront of the nation's consciousness.
Zaslow was a creative writing major when he attended Carnegie Mellon. Today, he is a senior writer and columnist for The Wall Street Journal. His column, Moving On, focuses on life transitions. Twice since 2003, Zaslow's column was named the best general-interest column among newspapers with more than a 100,000 circulation by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.
While he has spent much of his career at the Journal, he also has worked for the Chicago Sun-Times and USA Weekend, the paper's Sunday supplement. In 2000, he received the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award, given to a newspaper columnist who exemplifies the ideals and public service work of the noted humorist and columnist.
He was honored for using his column to run programs that benefited 47,000 disadvantaged Chicago children, and for raising millions of dollars for Chicago charities. His annual singles party for charity, "Zazz Bash," drew 7,000 readers a year and resulted in 78 marriages.
Zaslow's family columns have appeared in TIME magazine, and his many TV appearances have included "The Tonight Show,"Oprah,"Larry King Live,"60 Minutes,"The Today Show" and "Good Morning America."
In addition to co-authoring The Last Lecture, he is the author of three other books, one of which was excerpted in the New York Times Magazine.
A Philadelphia native, Zaslow lives in Detroit with his wife, Sherry Margolis, a news anchor with WJBK-TV, and their three daughters.
About Carnegie Mellon: Carnegie Mellon is a private research university with a distinctive mix of programs in engineering, computer science, robotics, business, public policy, fine arts and the humanities. More than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students receive an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration, and innovation. A small student-to-faculty ratio provides an opportunity for close interaction between students and professors. While technology is pervasive on its 144-acre Pittsburgh campus, Carnegie Mellon is also distinctive among leading research universities for the world-renowned programs in its College of Fine Arts. A global university, Carnegie Mellon has campuses in Silicon Valley, Calif., and Qatar, and programs in Asia Australia and Europe. For more, see www.cmu.edu.