Stephen Hawking had ALS. He was a miracle, having lived for 55 years after being diagnosed – most people die within 2-4 years. Medical devices can only do so much, at a certain point they cannot overcome the disability. Also, please remember, he was 76 when he died. That is a decently long lifespan for most people.
He was fortunate in that he was cerebral, and was able to continue his work as a physicist whereas other persons would simply have been ‘trapped’ inside their bodies. His quality of life was definitely affected, but he could still express himself, and contribute, because of the medical and communication devices he had access to. The work he was able to do, while severely affected, has informed the world of physics and cosmology. From all accounts, he was much more interested in being remembered as a man of science rather than a man who continue to exist because of science.
Stephen Hawking was rightfully known as one of the greatest minds of our time.
The theoretical physicist is known for his work on singularity and black holes, and is credited with unifying the theories of general relativity and quantum theory. As well as this, he’s become extremely well-known for his continuing bravery in the face of his worsening Motor Neurone Disease, working on new projects despite being almost completely paralysed. As far as variety goes, Hawking has had a career of opposites, going from serious physics to cameos on The Simpsons. But what about his birth and hometown? Find out more about the renowned scientist’s formative years and where he spent his time.
(Picture: SWNS) Stephen William Hawking was born in Oxford on January 8 1942. His parents had originally lived in Highgate in London, but his mother Isobel and father Frank decided to get out of the city for the birth of their first child. They also both studied at Oxford University, so this made their routines easier. In 1950, the family moved to St Albans in Hertfordshire, when Hawking’s father became head of the division of parasitology at the National Institute for Medical Research. The Hawkings were an intellectual family (as is probably expected) and were known for their love of books and sometimes eccentric ways, travelling in a converted taxi cab and living in a ramshackle house. As Hawking’s father frequently worked in Africa, Stephen and his siblings were often looked after by their mother, and spent four months with her in Mallorca visiting family friends at one point.
Pope Francis meets the eminent physicist Stephen Hawking at the Vatican (Picture: ABACAPRESS.COM) Hawking’s first school was in Highgate – the Byron House School. However, when he moved to St Albans he briefly attended the St Albans High School for Girls, which admitted younger boys at the time. After this, he attended the Radlett school in Hertfordshire and then the St Albans School. When he was 17 he moved to Oxford to study at University College, where he got a First Class Honours degree in natural science. Hawking spent some time on a trip to Iran after obtaining his degree, then relocated to Cambridge to work on his graduate degree at Trinity Hall.
Felicity Jones, Professor Stephen Hawking, Jane Hawking and Eddie Redmayne attend the UK Premiere of ‘The Theory Of Everything’ (Picture: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Once he had gained his PhD degree in applied mathematics and theoretical physics, his career began to take him to a lot of new places. Hawking had visited Moscow for a time, before being offered a fellowship at Caltech in the US in 1970. He eventually returned to Cambridge in 1975, a city he kept as his base for most of his life. He did travel extensively, though, taking trips to Chile, Easter Island, South Africa, Spain , Canada, and the United States, even as his health deteriorated.