Home

Cite

Stephen Hawking

Physicist
Date Of Birth:
8 January 1942
Date Of Death:
13 March 2018
Place Of Birth:
Oxford, England
Stephen Hawking was the world's best-known theoretical physicist from the 1980s until his death in 2018 . He was an expert on black holes, and his stated intention was to unify quantum mechanics with Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, forming a single theory to explain the origin (and end) of the universe. Stephen Hawking entered University College, Oxford in 1959, at age 17, and graduated with a first-class degree in 1962. That year he began graduate school at Cambridge, earning a Ph.D. in applied mathematics and theoretical physics in 1966, with his 1965 thesis titled Properties of Expanding Universes. By then his reputation as a precocious thinker was already established, and he plunged into work on black holes and the geometry of space-time. Hawking was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig's disease) in 1963, and by the end of the 1960s was confined to a wheelchair for daily life. The disability didn't seem to slow him down: He accepted the celebrated post of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge in 1979 and remained there until stepping down in 2009. He later accepted the post of Dennis Stanton Avery and Sally Tsui Wong-Avery Director of Research at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, and founded the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge. Stephen Hawking was the author of the best-selling 1988 book A Brief History of Time. His fame as a thinker made him something of a pop-culture celebrity: he made guest appearances on the TV shows Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Big Bang Theory and The Simpsons. His memoir My Brief History was published in 2013, and his early years with his wife were dramatized in the 2014 feature film The Theory of Everything.
Extra Credit:

Stephen Hawking married Jane Wilde in 1965. They had three children: Robert (born 1967), Lucy (b. 1970) and Timothy (b. 1979). Stephen and Jane Hawking divorced in 1995. He married Elaine Mason, formerly his nurse, in 1995; they divorced in 2006… According to Stephen Hawking’s own website, the Lucasian Chair at Cambridge “was founded in 1663 with money left in the will of the Reverend Henry Lucas, who had been the Member of Parliament for the University. It was first held by Isaac Barrow, and then in 1663 by Isaac Newton“… Stephen Hawking was played by actor Eddie Redmayne in the 2014 biopic The Theory of Everything; actress Felicity Jones played Hawking’s wife Jane. Redmayne won the Academy Award for best actor in a leading role, as well as winning the BAFTA in the same category at the British Academy film awards.