Stephen Hawking, the splendid British theoretical physicist who defeated a crippling infection to distribute fiercely well known books testing the secrets of the universe died at the age of 76. In a statement his children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, said: “We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today.
- Born 8 January 1942 in Oxford, England
- Earned place at Oxford University to read natural science in 1959, before studying for his PhD at Cambridge
- By 1963, at the age of 21 was diagnosed with motor neurone disease(amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and given two years to live
- Outlined his theory that black holes emit “Hawking radiation” in 1974
- In 1979, he became the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge – a post once held by Sir Isaac Newton
- Published his book A Brief History of Time in 1988, which has sold more than 10 million copies
- In the late 1990s, he was reportedly offered a knighthood, but 10 years later revealed he had turned it down over issues with the government’s funding for science.