Stephen Hawking, the world-renowned physicist and author, died on March 14th at his home in Cambridge, England. He was 76 years old.
Born on January 8th, 1942 (the 300th anniversary of Galileo’s death), Hawking was an exceptionally gifted student. He studied at two of the most prestigious schools in the world, Oxford and Cambridge. While working on his thesis at Cambridge, Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). A degenerative disease which affects all motor function. Despite a life expectancy of only two years, Hawking shattered all expectations, living for more than five decades. Over the course of those decades, Hawking would become one of the most well-known scientific figures of our lifetime, challenging our very understanding of the Universe around us.
Beyond His Research
Aside from being a world-renowned physicist, Stephen Hawking was also an accomplished author and pop culture icon. He published his first book in 1988, titled A Brief History of Time. It was an instant success, remaining on the Sunday Times Best-Seller list for a record 237 weeks.
Hawking also made several guest appearances on popular TV shows throughout his lifetime. These shows include, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Simpsons, Futurama, and most recently, The Big Bang Theory. In 2014, a movie was made about Hawking’s life. Titled The Theory Of Everything, the movie follows a young Stephen Hawking as he works to complete his Ph.D at Cambridge, and start a family with wife Jane Wilde, all while battling the debilitating symptoms of ALS. The movie was a massive success, receiving several nominations including Best Picture. Eddie Redmayne would also go on to win Best Actor for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking, a performance Hawking himself praised, saying, “at times, I thought he was me.”
March 14th, previously known for Einstein’s birthday and Pi Day, will now also be the day in which we remember Stephen Hawking. While he is no longer with us, his legacy and contributions to the scientific community will never be forgotten.