In 2011 the Food and Agriculture Organization formally announced that rinderpest was eradicated from the globe. Rinderpest virus had long been associated with huge disease outbreaks among cattle. The disease not only had a devastating effect on cattle herds world-wide, but also on human populations that depended on them. Rinderpest virus - a member of the genus Morbillivirus of the family Paramyxoviridae - is a close relative of measles virus. Both viruses are highly infectious and share many other biological properties. Although no formal goal or timeframe has been set, plans are currently being developed to eradicate measles. Here, we discuss how lessons learned from the global eradication of rinderpest may help in the future eradication of measles.