The greatest mind of the generation. Physicist Professor Stephen Hawking, has died at the age of 76 after a long struggle with motor neuron disease.
Iconic Physicist Stephen Hawking Dies At 76
His children Lucy, Robert, and Tim said in a statement. “We have deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today.”
If you hadn’t seen the wheelchair-bound genius, on documentaries or the news, you’d probably have had a window to his early life, through the movie The Theory of Everything.
Stephen Hawking beat the odds.
Stephen Hawking, lived decades longer than his doctors predicted. When he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Lou Gehrig’s disease, when just 21.
By the end, Hawking, had lost almost all control over every muscle in his body.
While For years he’s only been able to communicate, through individually tailored technology, exploiting what limited muscle control. He had to activate a virtual computer keyboard.
He never gave in to despair.
Instead, Hawking thought.
And through Hawking thoughts. He opened new horizons for humanity.
Hawking, admitted. He felt “somewhat of a tragic character” after diagnosis. But he soon returned to work. Securing a fellowship at Cambridge, and married Jane Wilde, with whom Stephen Hawking had three children.
Brian Dickie. Research director of the MND Association, previously said most sufferers live for less than five years. “The fact that Stephen Hawking has lived with the disease for close to 50 years makes him exceptional”.
The rest of the world, will always remember Hawking, for his groundbreaking work, on the origins of the universe, space and time, and black holes.
RISING SCIENCE STAR
Much of Hawking’s work centered, on bringing together relativity (the nature of space and time), and quantum theory (how the smallest particles in the universe behave). To explain the creation of the universe, and how it is governed.
In 1974, aged just 32. He became one of the youngest fellows of Britain’s prestigious Royal Society. Five years later. Stephen Hawking became Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University. A post once held by Isaac Newton.
Stephen Hawking’s fame moved beyond academia, in 1988 with the publication of his book A Brief History of Time. Which explained the nature of the universe to nonscientists, and sold millions of copies worldwide.
Hawking’s stardom was later cemented in cameos in Star Trek, and The Simpsons, where he tells the rotund Homer Simpson that he likes his theory of a “doughnut-shaped universe”, and may have to steal it.
Martin Rees, Britain’s Astronomer Royal and a former president of the Royal Society, first met Hawking when they were both research students “and it was thought he might not live long enough to finish his PhD degree”.
Rees said his survival made him a “medical marvel”, but stressed that it was his work that would prove his lasting legacy.
“His fame should not overshadow his scientific contributions because even though most scientists are not as famous as he is, he has undoubtedly done more than anyone else since Einstein to improve our knowledge of gravity,” he said.
EARLY LIFE: HAWKING WAS ALMOST AT THE BOTTOM OF CLASS
Hawking was born in Oxford, England, on January 8 in 1942, but grew up in St Albans.
The eldest son of Frank and Isobel Hawking, both Oxford University graduates, Hawking was one of four children.
His birth came at a difficult time for his parents, who struggled for money despite his father being a respected medical researcher.
England was dealing with World War II and the onslaught of German bombs, so in an effort to raise their first
child in a safer environment, Isobel returned to Oxford They went on to have three more children, Mary in 1943, Philippa in 1947 and Edward, who was adopted in 1956.
The Hawking’s have been described in many notable biographies as an ‘eccentric’ family, who ate dinner in silence and were intense readers.
Their car was a London taxi and they lived in a beaten up old home, where they housed bees in the basement and produced fireworks.to give birth to Stephen.
As Hawking grew older, his father wanted him to go into the medical business but he had a passion for science and ‘the sky’.
His mother is quoted as having said: “Stephen always had a strong sense of wonder, and I could see that the stars would draw him.”
It has also been reported he loved to dance and took an interest in rowing.
Iconic Physicist Stephen Hawking Dies At 76
Despite being world-renowned for his excellence, Hawking was not what his teachers would have called an ‘exceptional student.’
During his first year at St. Albans School he was almost at the bottom of his class, so he instead turned his focus to being creative outside of school.
When he was a teenager he constructed a computer out of recycled parts for solving rudimentary maths equations, along with a group of friends.
He may not have been focusing on his education but in 1962, he graduated with honors in natural science and went on to attend Trinity Hall at Cambridge University for a Ph.D. in cosmology.