Stephen Hawking is, arguably, the most famous scientist alive today. Now aged 70, he is best known for penning the book, A Brief History of Time, which remained on the British bestseller list for a record breaking 237 weeks. He has also held the post of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, which is a position that was once held by Sir Isaac Newton. He has married twice and has three children. He has suffered from a rare disease called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
Stephen Hawking’s life
Born in 1942 inOxford, where his parents spent the final months of pregnancy to avoid the bombings ofLondon, Hawking was said to have been a good student although it wasn’t until he was in his 20s that his true potential began to really shine through. Having initially wanted to study Mathematics, Stephen Hawking opted, instead, to read natural sciences with emphasis on Physics.
Having found University life boring, so much so that he coxed the University rowing team to relieve the boredom, it was only following an oral examination that he was awarded a first class degree. Following his B.A. degree, Stephen Hawking attended Trinity Hall, Cambridge to undertake his graduate work. It was here that Hawking was diagnosed with the disease that would change his life and means that he is now almost completely paralysed. Although, it is not as a direct result of the disease that he speaks using a voice synthesizer.
While at Cambridge, Hawking was diagnosed with a motor neurone disease related to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. He was initially given two to three years to live and cites this as being one of the reasons that he effectively coasted through University without fully applying himself. Despite the bleak diagnosis, however, Stephen Hawking has gone on to live into his 70s, marking a major achievement especially consider how unusual it is to live beyond 10 years following diagnosis.
Stephen Hawking has led an incredible and well documented life. He has been referred to in many TV programs, films, and even songs, and has appeared as himself in a number of programs including Red Dwarf and the Big Bang Theory.