As the world mourns the loss of one of the biggest physicists, cosmologists and authors of our times, we look into interesting facts about Stephen Hawking that made him an extraordinary and inspiring man. From his academic and professional achievements to his personal health struggles – Hawking’s life has much more to it than his fascinating theories. He remains a source of motivation and his story holds answers to endless life lessons and scientific questions for which he will be remembered.
Connection with geniuses
Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, the 300th anniversary of Galileo’s death – a connection that is as well known as Hawking. However his death date coinciding with Albert Einstein’s birth anniversary is a surprising fact that is grabbing attention across the world.
Apart from giving academic and scientific gems to the world, Hawking has gifted us with a lesson of unbending determination. He was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at the young age of 21. ALS is a fatal disease after three years of diagnosis but Stephen proved the fact wrong by living till the age of 76.
Flouting the common image of scientists who are usually perceived to be shy and not media-friendly, Hawking was seen on various global stages. He also showed off his acting skills by appearing in popular sitcoms, science shows and biographical films.
Yes, you read it right. Hawking was not a genius by birth, but was so by determination and hard work. A mediocre student in his school days, he still had extraordinary scientific aptitude that made his school mates and teachers give him the nick name – Einstein.
The idea of aliens
Hawking’s belief in possibility of alien life is widely known and it gained a lot of attention. He claimed that given the vastness and unending nature of universe, there may be primitive alien life somewhere.
Sportsman at heart
Before he was diagnosed with the physical disability disease, Hawking was an active sports person as well. He was part of the rowing team in Oxford, a time when he gained popularity in his college. This was the time when he used creative analysis to create lab reports.
The space travel
Visuals of Hawking doing back flips without his wheelchair during a space visit in 2007 are something everyone has seen. This day in history also made him the first quadriplegic to experience zero gravity, aboard a Zero Gravity Corporation flight. It was a trip of lifetime for the superstar scientist as he had publically declared his ultimate goal: to travel into space.
Hawking remains one of the most important contributors to the science of space world. However he will live forever in the history of mankind for his extraordinary role in disseminating the message of determination, positivity and love for life.