Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking dies at the age of 76

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Hawking dies at the age of 76
Stephen Hawking on October 10, 1979

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.

 Stephen Hawking

  • 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.
The disease left Hawking wheelchair-bound and paralyzed. He was able to move only a few fingers on one hand and was completely dependent on others or on technology for virtually everything — bathing, dressing, eating, even speech.
Hawking used a speech synthesizer that allowed him to speak in a computerized voice with an American accent.
“I try to lead as normal a life as possible, and not think about my condition, or regret the things it prevents me from doing, which are not that many,” he wrote on his website.
Hawking was married twice. He and his first wife, Jane Wilde, wed when he was still a graduate student and remained together for 30 years before divorcing in 1995. Hawking was later married for 11 years to Elaine Mason, one of his former nurses.
 Source: BBC and CNN