“I have noticed that even those who assert that everything is predestined and that we can change nothing about it still look both ways before they cross the street”. – Stephen Hawking
These are the words of the great theoretical physicist and a renowned scientist, the man who with his willpower became what he wanted to be.
Hawking was suffering from a rare early-onset slow-progressing form of motor neuron disease that gradually paralyzed him over the decades. The diagnosis of the disease came when Hawking was 21, in 1963. At the time, doctors gave him a life expectancy of two years. But he didn’t make it his weakness. He preferred to be regarded as “a scientist first, popular science writer second, and, in all the ways that matter, a normal human being with the same desires, drives, dreams, and ambitions as the next person.” And his life and achievements are proof of his determination.
Here are some facts about the man that we all must know;
- Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, 300 years after the death of Galileo and died on March 14th, on the birth anniversary of Albert Einstein.
- His family was considered highly intelligent but he was a mediocre student and couldn’t even properly read until he was 8 years old.
- In Oxford Rowing Club he was called as “the adventurous type” by one of his fellow boatmen.
- His father wanted him to study medicine but he was always more inclined towards Mathematics but it was not possible to read mathematics there at the time so Hawking decided to study physics and chemistry.
- Hawking was nicknamed ‘Einstein’ by his classmates after he built a computer with his friends as a teenager.
- In 2014 Starmus Festival, where he was a keynote speaker he declared himself an atheist.
- The animated version of Stephen Hawking appeared on The Simpsons for which he lent his voice himself. He was also seen on Star Trek: Next Generation, sharing jokes with Einstein and Newton. He has also featured in documentary shows like Stephen Hawking: Master of the Universe and Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking.
He was concerned about humans and in 2006. Hawking posed an open question on the Internet: “In a world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?”, later clarifying: “I don’t know the answer. That is why I asked the question, to get people to think about it, and to be aware of the dangers we now face.”
Despite his groundbreaking discoveries and valuable contribution to the world, he was never nominated for a Nobel Prize.
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