Born on January 8, 1942, Stephen William Hawking became one of the world’s most well-regarded scientists, earning comparisons with Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton. His work focused on bringing together relativity, the nature of space and time, and quantum theory –how the smallest particles in the Universe behave.
In 1974, Hawking became one of the youngest fellows of Britain’s most prestigious scientific body, the Royal Society, at the age of 32. In 1979, Hawking was appointed Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, where he had moved from Oxford University to study theoretical astronomy and cosmology.
The renowned Professor and inspirational personality, who finished with a first class degree in Physics from Oxford, has been generally described as one of the greatest scientists of his age.
Other quick facts about Stephen Hawking
- Stephen earned a place at Oxford University to read natural science in 1959, before studying for his PhD at Cambridge.
- By 1963, he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and given two years to live.
- He outlined his theory that black holes emit “Hawking radiation” in 1974.
- In 1979, he became the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge – a post once held by Sir Isaac Newton.
- He published his book A Brief History of Time in 1988, which has sold more than 10 million copies.
- In the late 1990s, he was reportedly offered a knighthood, but 10 years later revealed he had turned it down over issues with the government’s funding for science.
- As a man of great humour, he became a popular ambassador for science and was always careful to ensure that the general public had ready access to his work.
- His book A Brief History of Time became an unlikely best-seller although it is unclear how many people actually managed to get to the end of it.
- He appeared in a number of popular TV shows and lent his synthesised voice to various recordings.
- Stephen William Hawking was born in Oxford on 8 January 1942. His father, a research biologist, had moved with his mother from London to escape German bombing.
- Hawking grew up in London and St Albans and, after gaining a first-class degree in physics from Oxford, went on to Cambridge for postgraduate research in cosmology.
- He died on the 14th of March, 2018