Stephen Hawking
Born      :January 8, 1942 (age 72), Oxford, United Kingdom.
Spouse    :Elaine Mason (m. 1995–2006), Jane Wilde (m. 1965–1991)
Children  :Lucy Hawking, Timothy Hawking, Robert Hawking.
Books     :A Brief History of Time, The Grand Design.
Awards    :Presidential Medal of Freedom, Copley Medal. 

Stephen Hawking is one of the most famous scientists of modern times. Despite his challenging physical impairments, he has contributed much to the world of science, helping spread his ideas to the general public with the release of accessible books such as ‘A Brief History of Time’. Read on for interesting facts, quotes and information about Stephen Hawking.

Stephen William Hawking CH CBE FRS FRSA is an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Center for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge.

Even if you don't keep a close eye on new developments in physics, you've probably heard of the renowned physicist Stephen Hawking. He's prided himself on making his complex physical concepts accessible to the public and writing the bestseller, "A Brief History of Time."
And if you are a fan of Conan O'Brien, "The Simpsons" or "Star Trek," you might have seen him brandishing his cool wit during guest appearances on those shows.
Even if you are familiar with his academic work, however, there are many interesting facts you might not know about Hawking, stretching from his time at school and gradual development of disability to his opinions on the future of the human race.
Many find it surprising, for instance, that, despite his influential body of work, Hawking hasn't yet been awarded the Nobel Prize. We'll talk about some of the remarkable distinctions he has received, however.
Another interesting fact: Hawking was born on Jan. 8, 1942, which just happened to be the 300th anniversary of Galileo's death.
But this has just been the warm-up. Next, we'll delve into some fascinating and unexpected facts about Hawking, including some things about his profoundly inspirational story.

Stephen grew up in London until age 8, when the Hawking family moved to St Albans in Hertfordshire. He was a good student, although not an exceptional one, but he was always interested in science.
Later on, at University College, Oxford, Stephen Hawking wanted to study mathematics - but this was not offered at University College, so he chose physics. Hawking finished university in Oxford in 1962, but stayed there to study astronomy. Finally he left Oxford for Trinity Hall, Cambridge, to study theoretical astronomy and cosmology.

Just after arriving at Cambridge at age 21, symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) first appeared. ALS is a neuron disease which can cause a total loss of muscular control - doctors said Stephen would not survive more than two or three years, so he didn't see much point in obtaining a doctorate any more.
But everything changed in 1965, when Stephen Hawking finally married Jane Wilde and regained interest in finishing his studies. Hawking gained his Ph. D., became a Research Fellow and later on a Professorial Fellow.
A few years later, Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose studied mathematical models derived from Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity and in 1970 Hawking was able to prove a singularity theorem that showed that singularities (black holes for example) could indeed exist. Stephen could also prove that a black hole can be fully described by mass, momentum and charge ("black holes are hairless").
Then, in 1974, Stephen Hawking was able to prove that black holes emit radiation and thus black holes can also evaporate. Finally he also developed a model of a universe without boundaries and space-time. The same year Stephen Hawking was elected as one of the youngest Fellows of the Royal Society.
String theories gained popularity, and soon Stephen stared working on unification models of the various string theories to find the "theory of everything". But he gradually lost the use of his arms and legs, and soon he needed a wheelchair. In 1985, Hawking contracted pneumonia, which was life-threatening and cost him his voice. Since then Stephen Hawking has to use a voice synthesizer to communicate.
Stephen Hawking was already a well known person among scientists back then, but he really became famous in 1988 after publishing his first book entitled "A Brief History of Time". It rapidly became a best-seller and can be considered to be one of the most popular books of all times.
In 1991 Jane and Stephen separated - it is rumored that Jane had problems with both Stephen's disease and the enormous press coverage and fame after the release of this book. Stephen finally married his nurse Elaine Mason in 1995 (and filed for divorce in October 2006).
Today Stephen Hawking is almost completely paralyzed, but he's still working and still hopes to find a theory of everything one day.

Stephen Hawking quotes

Hawking’s quotes range from notable to poetic to controversial. Among them:

  • "Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing? "

    "All of my life, I have been fascinated by the big questions that face us, and have tried to find scientific answers to them. If, like me, you have looked at the stars, and tried to make sense of what you see, you too have started to wonder what makes the universe exist."

    "Science predicts that many different kinds of universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing. It is a matter of chance which we are in."

    "The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired. "

    "We should seek the greatest value of our action."

    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."

    "Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change."

    "It is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value. "

    "One cannot really argue with a mathematical theorem. "

    "It is a waste of time to be angry about my disability. One has to get on with life and I haven't done badly. People won't have time for you if you are always angry or complaining."