Stephen Hawking was one of the greatest minds to have ever lived, which is why his death is truly painful and shocking. Take a look back at the physicist’s incredible life in pictures. They’re remarkable!
Has anyone ever had a greater impact on the world of science than Stephen Hawking? The noted physicist and theoretical scientist sadly died on March 13 at the age of 76 after a decades-long battle with ALS. Hawking was born in Oxford, England in 1942. Always a curious student, he went on to pursue his Ph.D in physics at Cambridge University. His theories about the universe were often shot down as absurd, but he persisted, becoming known as a true genius later in life.
Hawking was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) when he was just 21 years old and still a PhD candidate. The disease is a brutal and devastating syndrome in which the sufferer’s body deteriorates. Hawking was told he only had one to two years to live, but that clearly did not happen. Though he would eventually be confined to a wheelchair and only able to speak through a voice synthesizer, he still continued his studies in theoretical physics.
While known in the science world, Hawking achieved worldwide celebrity status in the late 80s after publishing his famous book, “A Brief History of Time”. The book has sold more than 10 million copies, beloved for its breakdown of the role physics plays in unraveling the mysteries of the universe. His goal was to find a “theory of everything,” which he likened to finally “know the mind of God.”
If “the theory of everything” sounds familiar, that’s because of the 2014 movie of the same name. The Oscar-winning film was a look back at Hawking’s early life and his relationship with now ex-wife Jane Wilde. Eddie Redmayne won the Academy Award for Best Actor for playing Hawking. After the win, Hawking said that he thought Redmayne did a great job portraying him, and said he was “very proud” of him. Scroll through the gallery above to see pics of Hawking with Redmayne and other celebrities — also receiving his Guinness Book of World Records award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former president Barack Obama, and so much more.