A Brief History of Stephen Hawking’s Time on Earth (1942-2018)

Renowned Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking breathed his last at the age of 76.

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Video Editor: Ashutosh Bhardwaj

The coolest professor, wittiest astrophysicist and perhaps one of the most famous and loved scientists, Stephen Hawking breathed his last on Wednesday, 14 March at the age of 76. His dry wit, steadfast belief in aliens and explanation of black holes, and his ‘theory of everything’ (regularly refurbished), however, is something that will never be forgotten.

In a public statement, the family announced the news of the rockstar scientist’s death.

"We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years," Hawking's children said in a statement.

"His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world. He once said, it would not be much of a universe if it wasn't home to the people you love. We will miss him for ever," the statement added.

Professor Stephen William Hawking was born on 8 January 1942 (exactly 300 years after the death of Galileo) in Oxford, England, to Frank and Isobel Hawking. His birth connection to Galileo and the pathbreaking theories about the universe were considered a ‘cosmic coincidence.’

He was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1963, at the age of 21, while he was studying at Oxford University. While the doctors predicted he wouldn’t survive more than 2 years, Hawking made it to 76. His disease, progressively paralysed him over the years, but did not hinder him from living life the way he wanted. In other words, Hawking was an all-round badass.

His body of scientific work includes his analysis of gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity with Roger Penrose, as well as the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, commonly termed ‘Hawking radiation’.

Hawking was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1974, becoming one of the youngest people to receive the honour at the time.

At the age of 65, in 2007, Hawking managed to travel to space to experience zero-degree gravity with the help of Richard Branson. Once he was floating in space, he even ditched his chair and performed a backflip for kicks!

He was nicknamed ‘Einstein’ for his genius but was never a textbook nerd in real life. His work in the field of science and his simplification of the most complicated concepts about the universe have fuelled a million dreams.

Hawking has left behind an unrivalled legacy. One, that will be celebrated and remembered for decades to come.

Rest in peace, Professor Hawking. May you make the brightest star in the galaxy.

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