Happy birthday, Stephen Hawking! The brilliant scientist, who has valiantly battled motor neuron disease for over 50 years, turned 73 on Jan. 8. Let’s take a look back at some of Stephen’s finest moments.
Stephen Hawking has lived an incredible life. After being told by doctors 50 years ago that he only had two years to live due to motor neuron disease (or Lou Gehrig’s disease), Stephen celebrated his 73rd birthday on Jan. 8. The critically-acclaimed film The Theory of Everything shined light on Stephen’s impressive life, so let’s take a trip down memory lane in honor of his birthday.
Stephen Hawking’s Birthday
Stephen was a graduate student at the Trinity Hall, Cambridge when he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease at the age of 21. Despite the grim diagnosis, Stephen continued his research.
He married his first wife Jane Wilde in 1965 and completed his doctorate in 1966. He was working on singularities in the theory of general relativity and was able to connect his ideas to the study of black holes. By this time, he was have speech problems and difficulty walking.
In 1974, he discovered the black holes could emit radiation, and the term for it is now known as Hawking radiation. He was awarded the Pius XI Gold Medal for Science, Hughes Medal and Albert Einstein Award for his breakthrough idea.
Over the course of his career, Stephen lost the ability to walk completely. He lost the ability to speak in 1985. Stephen didn’t let that hinder him. He published A Brief History of Time in 1988.
He would go on to write 13 more books and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.
Stephen divorced his first wife in 1995. They had three children together. He married Elaine Mason in 1995, but divorced her in 2006.
His life was the subject of the 2014 film The Theory of Everything, starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones as his first wife. They have both been nominated for Golden Globes for their terrific performances.
Stephen has never let his health stand in the way of his goals. Here are a few of Stephen’s most inspiration quotes from over the years:
*”Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.”
*”However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.”
— Avery Thompson