“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world. He once said: ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss him for ever.”
Stephen Hawking was born in Oxford, England in 1942, smack in the middle of World War II. By age 17 he was attending Oxford University, and by age 24 he was wrapping up his Ph.D. in applied mathematics and theoretical physics at Cambridge, with a thesis titled Properties of Expanding Universes.
By that point he had also been diagnosed with ALS (commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and was given only a few years to live.
Instead he lived to be 76, spent 30 years as the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, married (twice) and had three children, and wrote A Brief History of Time, the unlikely 1988 best-seller that sold 10 million copies. He also found time to visit the Great Wall of China and fly in zero gravity, as shown in the image currently featured on his home page next to the words “Stephen William Hawking. 1942 – 2018. Cosmologist, space traveller and hero.”
Happy travels, Mr. Hawking, wherever you may be.
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