Today, on the day of his demise, we celebrate the works of the exemplary scientist Stephen Hawking. Known for his ground-breaking theories of black holes and relativity, an author par excellence and a human being, who despite his health conditions, never gave up the zeal to work – Stephen Hawking will be an example for generations to come.
Stephen William Hawking was born in Oxford, England, on January 8, 1942, the 300th anniversary of the death of Galileo—long a source of pride for the noted physicist.
The eldest of Frank and Isobel Hawking’s four children, Stephen Hawking was born into a family of thinkers. Both his parents were Oxford University graduates and were respected in their field of operations.
Early in his academic life, Hawking, while recognized as bright, was not an exceptional student. Later, he entered the University College at Oxford University at the age of 17. In 1968, Hawking became a member of the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge. In 1973, he published his first, highly-technical book, The Large-Scale Structure of Space-Time, with G.F.R. Ellis.
In 1979, Hawking came back to Cambridge University, where he was named The Lucasian Professor of Mathematics.
When Hawking’s radiation theory was born, the announcement sent shock waves of excitement through the scientific world. Hawking was named a fellow of the Royal Society at the age of 32, and later earned the prestigious Albert Einstein Award, among other honours. He also earned teaching stints at Caltech in Pasadena, California, where he served as visiting professor, and at Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge.
He was a prolific writer and author. In simple words, his books have helped to make science accessible to everyone. At age 21, while studying cosmology at the University of Cambridge, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Part of his life story was depicted in the 2014 film The Theory of Everything.
In his lifetime, Stephen Hawking wrote and co-wrote a total of 15 books. A few of the most noteworthy include – A Brief History of Time, The Universe in a Nutshell, The Grand Design, to name a few.
His death has left an irreplaceable void in the field of science and cosmology.