“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special, “ said the man who helped us to understand the universe and that there is a chance of multiple universes.
Persistent in his pursuit of knowledge Stephen Hawking has unlocked new doors of discovery and inspired people around the world. Born in Oxford, England on January 8, 1942, Stephen Hawking showed interest and passion about science from an early age.
At seventeen he entered Oxford University, and in 1962 Hawking moved to Cambridge University for PhD in Cosmology. One year later, at age 21 he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a progressive motor neuron disease, where the victim looses functionality of muscles. Despite Stephen Hawking lost the use of all his muscles, his mind left untouched and keen, he has done a flawless work in cosmology and wrote books that make understanding the universe more accessible to everyone.
Stephen Hawking was born on the 300th anniversary of the death of Galileo Galilei. Coincidence?
When he was diagnosed with ALS at age 21, doctors told him that he had only 2 years to live, well jokes on them.
He may be one of the greatest minds now, but Hawking was an average student and received mediocre grades at school, once he calculated that he spent around one hour per day on school work.As a matter of fact, when he was 9 years old, his grades ranked among the worst in class.
Stephen Hawking loved Mathematics since he was a toddler but had a huge aversion to Biology. Hawkings’ father Frank had an ambition for his son to study Medicine. However, Stephen showed no interest in studying biology, he thought that this subject is “too inexact, too descriptive.”
He was married to Jane Wilde whom he met during his PhD days in Cambridge. They were married for 25 years and divorced so Hawking could marry his second wife Elaine Masson. Jane Wilde wrote a book “Traveling to Infinity” reveling details from the intimate life of the beautiful mind and her “personal trauma,” the book was later adapted in a biographic movie “The Theory of Everything.”
His book A Brief History of Time was published in 1988 and have sold in 8 million copies, the book gave him worldwide fame and recognition.
Stephen Hawking is also a children’s book author. With his daughter Lucy Hawking, in 2007 wrote the “George’s Secret Key to the Universe.” This book is a great way to educate kids on physics and explain difficult scientific concepts through fun and amusing fiction.
To prove his theory on black holes he retracted the father of modern physics Albert Einstein, he once quoted “Einstein was wrong when he said, “God does not play dice.” Consideration of black holes suggests, not only that God does play dice, but that he sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can’t be seen.”
Stephen Hawking is one of the most popular physicist of all time in terms of public appearance. He has done numerous guest star appearance of himself in popular TV Shows like: The Big Bang Theory, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Simpsons, The Tonight Show etc.
As a child, Stephen Hawking attended an all girl school for one period when his father had to move in St.Albans,UK for work.
During his Oxford days Hawking faced isolation and depression, so to get out of this “black hole,” he joined the rowing team. However, even before his disability he was not much of an athlete, so he was recruited to be a coxswains- a person who controls steering and stroke rate.
He is very recognizable about his witty answers on dull questions and sharp sense of humor. Once he quoted “Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.”
From an early age Hawking showed interest in how stuff worked. He would repeatedly disassembled radios and clocks to discover their mystery, often he would break them during the process, because he wasn’t good in putting them back together. His father nicknamed him “Little Einstein.”
Hawking believes in possibility of Aliens. During the NASA’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2008, Hawking was invited to speak and had mentioned his opinions on this subject.
Hawking is a big fan of zero gravity, he was among the first with his disability to test out a plane that can send a plane near space.
His speech synthesizer generates American accent while Hawking is British. In fact the Stephen Hawking voice from the computer is copyrighted.