The Life of Stephen Hawking


Denis Mardesich, Staff Writer

On January 8th, 1942 a genius was born, Stephen William Hawking was brought into the world in Cambridge, England. Hawking would later grow to become a genius theoretical physicist who would make many contributions to the world of science.

At the age of 17, in 1959 Hawking entered Oxford’s University College. At the time Hawking had a desire to study mathematics, however it was not available at University College. This lead Hawking to instead study physics.

After 3 years of studying Hawking finally got his first class honors degree in natural science. Hawking later came to the University of Cambridge to study cosmology even though barely anyone had worked in that field at the time. During his time in Cambridge he wrote many famous and interesting essays that won him an Adams Prize.

During Hawking’s time in Cambridge he was diagnosed with a very rare motor neuron disease or ALS in 1963. At this time doctors only expected Hawking to live for another 2 years. However come 1965 Hawking was living.

Unfortunately, Hawking’s disease only grew worse and he found that he rarely could give lectures any more and that he required crutches to move freely. Hawking would soon began to lose his ability to write and would attempt to find new ways to write equations, and in the late 1970’s Hawking found that he was slowly losing the ability to speak and could only really be understood by those who were closer to him.

In 1986 Walter Woltosz gifted Hawking with a computer program known as “The Equalizer” which allowed those with ALS to speak through a computer by accessing a library of phrases and words, Hawking continued to use this program his whole life.

Besides having a very interesting life Hawking also published many famous books including “A Brief History of Time” and “The Grand Design” both of these books spoke of many interesting scientific topics. Hawking also wrote the children’s book “George’s Secret Key to the Universe” along with his daughter, Lucy Hawking. Lucy wrote the book with a goal of “Explaining theoretical physics to youngsters” She achieved this by writing the book as if it was a story.

Hawking also had two sons Robert and Timothy Hawking, Robert is a computer engineer and is the eldest out of the two. Timothy is Hawking’s youngest son and is a marketer. The mother of Hawking’s children is Jane Hawking who was married to Hawking until 1996.

So Stephen Hawking had a very interesting life, making many contributions to theoretical physics, cosmology, and general relativity. Even though Hawking passed on March 14, 2018 in Cambridge we will still remember him and the impact he had on us and how he affected the world of science.