An award-winning physicist and author of popular books, Stephen Hawking died early Wednesday morning at the age of 76.
Back in 1962, the future author of “A Brief History Of Time” and “The Universe In A Nutshell” was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The Hawking family did not disclose the cause of death secret, only saying that he “died peacefully” at home. His three children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, have expressed their grief over the loss and thanked Stephen’s fans from over the world for the years of support.
Hawking was considered to be one of the world’s most influential scientists. His extensive research contributed a lot to our understanding of the universe.
In his last interview, Hawking said that he had never expected to live to 75 and felt very fortunate for the opportunity to reflect on his own legacy.
One of Hawking’s greatest discoveries was the fact that black holes are not entirely black. It could help to resolve the paradoxes between quantum mechanics and general relativity.
In his 2010 interview, Hawking shared his fatherly advice, “Look up to the stars, not under your feet. Never stop working, as it gives meaning to life. Once you have found love, cherish it”
Hawking was born Jan. 8, 1942 in Oxford to the family of Frank Hawking, biologist, and Isobel Hawking, medical research secretary. In 1952 he entered St. Albans School and nine years later, he received scholarship to attend Oxford University Colledge, from which he graduated with a degree in Natural Science.
In 1962 Hawking began his graduate research in cosmology in Cambridge, but was diagnosed with a degenerative nerve disorder a year later. The 21-year-old scientist was given only two years to live.
In spite of the disease, he married Jane Wilde, a modern language student, two years later. The couple had two children, Robert and Lucy.
In 1974, 32-year-old Stephen Hawking was elected as a fellow to Royal Society and became one of the youngest people to receive the honor. In 1979 Hawking fathered his third child, Timothy, and became a Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in Cambridge. He was going to hold this prestigious position for twenty years.
The year 1985 was life-changing for the scientist. Hawking was admitted to Geneva Hospital for pneumonia. He survived the operation but lost the ability to talk forever. A year later, he began to use the electronic voice synthesizer that gave him that famous robot-like voice.
In 1988 Hawking published his bestseller “A Brief History of Time”. The next year, Her Majesty Elizabeth II made him a Companion of Honor.
In 1995 Hawking married his nurse Elaine Mason, whom he divorced in 2007.
Three years ago, a biopic “The Theory Of Everything”, starring Eddie Redmayne as Hawking himself and based on the book by his first wife, hit the big screen and won Oscars.