Stephen Hawking, the theoretical physicist who overcame ALS to publish many eye and mind opening books on the mysteries of the universe, has died, according to a family spokesman. He was 76. The family spokesman said Hawking died peacefully at home. No further details were given.
One of my absolute favorite quotes from Stephen Hawking has to be "Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet." That is some very good advice! Another piece of good advice from a brilliant man? "If you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don't throw it away."
Born in Oxford, England, Hawking became famous for his work on black holes, cosmology and quantum gravity – his contributions to science spanned more than four decades.
He also wrote many books on those subjects, including the 1988 best-seller "A Brief History of Time," which gives an account of the creation of the universe. He was a professor of applied mathematics and theoretical physics at Britain's Cambridge University for decades. Hawking was married and divorced twice. He and his first wife had three children. As a young man, Hawking began developing symptoms of Lou Gehrig's disease. By his early 30s, the muscle-wasting condition had left him almost completely paralyzed. He had to communicate through a computer-generated voice synthesizer after a life-threatening bout with pneumonia forced him to have a tracheotomy in 1985. He also struggled with a multitude of other health problems as a result of the ALS. Over the years, Hawking's acclaimed work won him countless prestigious positions. He became one of the youngest Honorary Fellows of the Royal Society of Arts and was a member of the Pontifical Academy of Science. He also became a fellow of the Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge and served as the distinguished research chair at Waterloo's Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.
He even took his place in pop culture with notable guest appearances in TV shows like "Star Trek," "Futurama," and "The Simpsons," as well as being mentioned often and his appearance in "The Big Bang Theory."