Stephen Hawking stated, “Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny”. The ironical statement of the man and whatever he said reflected the irony and truth in his statement. While the world knows so much about him, these are some facts about him that made his life the way he was – a legend and a miracle.
1. Hawking was from a very learned family
Stephen Hawking was born on 8 January 1942 in Oxford, UK, where his parents attended the University of Oxford. His mother returned from London as it was during World War II to give birth to Hawkings in a safer environment of Oxford. During Undergraduate years, Stephen Hawking found his work very easy and boring. He was viewed as a lazy student as he was never much interested in his studies except the theoretical physics section. Later when he joined the University Boat Club, he tried harder to fit in.
2. Hawking was called Einstein in school, though he faced difficulty in his daily school routine
Hawking’s first year as a doctoral student was pretty difficult when he was not assigned to the noted astronomer Fred Hoyle and that discouraged him. He also discovered the lack of his knowledge in mathematics for the general relativity which hindered him. During the years of his Doctoral, he found out that he had ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease that pushed him into depression. He was just 21 when the diagnosis was made and he felt that his life had no point anymore. However his doctor predicted a lifespan of 2 years, his disease progressed much slower than predicted.
3. Hawking had a girlfriend who even after he was diagnosed with a fatal disease, loved and married him
He was in a relationship with a friend of his sister’s, Jane Wilde, before the diagnosis, and continued the relationship even after that. Though initially, Hawking objected, on persistence by Jane, they got engaged in 1964 and married in 1965. The relationship with Jane gave him the hope to live for.Share
4. Hawking was very passionate about his work on Black holes
One of the earliest scientific work of his was on the general theory of the relativity and universe. But the theories that he has been most known for is his four laws of black hole mechanics. From the application of thermodynamics rules to the theory of black hole particle and then radiation, cheekily called as Hawking radiation, took the world dynamically.
5. Hawking received so many awards because of his scientific intelligence
Hawking has been the recipient of many reputable and prestigious awards including (and not limited to) the Dannie Heineman Prize, the Maxwell Prize, the Albert Einstein Medal, Pride of Britain Awards etc.
6. Hawking authored and co-authored many books
He wrote so many scientific books including – A Brief History of Time (1988), Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays (1993), My Brief History (2013) etc. He also wrote many sci-fi books with his daughter.
7. Hawking couldn’t walk but flew once
Though his medical conditions confined him to a chair and a bed, he once took his chance in the zero-gravity environment. He had tears in his eyes as after so many years he was able to get out of the wheelchair and stay out of it without any support.
8. Stephen Hawking has been part of so many pop culture shows
Hawking was interested in appearing on a show. So, on the insistence of Nimoy, Hawking played a holographic simulation of himself in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1993. Later his synthesizer voice was recorded for the Pink Floyd song “Keep Talking”, and in 1999 it was used inThe Simpsons. Hawking also appeared in many documentaries on himself. He also guest-starred in Futurama and The Big Bang Theory. The copyrighted voice of his was used in the biographical 2014 film The Theory of Everything, in which he was portrayed by Eddie Redmayne in an Academy Award-winning role. The movie was based on the book Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Hawking néé Wilde.
Stephen Hawking has 3 children with his wife Jane Wilde- Robert Hawking, Lucy Hawking, and Timothy Hawking.
Stephen Hawking breathed his last on March 14, 2018. He worked for science and became a part of it as much that people will remember him for a long time to come as a legend who walked this earth.