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Stephen Hawking Dies: 4 Humanizing Facts About Legendary Physicist

Image: Stephen Hawking Dies: 4 Humanizing Facts About Legendary Physicist

Stephen Hawking at a 2006 conference in Italy. (Dreamstime)

By    |   Wednesday, 14 March 2018 08:48 AM

Stephen Hawking was regarded as perhaps the greatest living scientist right up until his death Wednesday at age 76. His voice was key in understanding the universe and his contribution to theoretical physics earned him countless accolades over the years.

Many of the things Hawking discussed were over the heads of average people, but he was always there -- on TV, online, writing -- explaining physics and related topics, so everyone got to know him.

Here are four humanizing facts about the legendary physicist quite easy to understand:

1. His “A Brief History of Time” broke the best-seller record. Hawking authored several books but “A Brief History of Time,” published in 1988, set a record when it sat on the Sunday Times bestseller list for over five years, USA Today noted.

2. Physics was his plan B. While in college, Hawking initially wanted to pursue math but because the subject was not available at the University College, Oxford, he took up physics instead.

This was despite his father’s wishes for him to follow a career in medicine, The Economic Times noted, and after three years he received the first-class honors degree in natural science.

3. He wasn’t diagnosed with ALS until 21. Shortly after celebrating his 21st birthday, Hawking was diagnosed with the form of Motor Neurone Disease that would see him spend the bulk of his life wheelchair-bound and dependent on a computerized voice system, according to his biography.

This didn’t stop him from going on to become a highly regarded theoretical physicist who was able to author various books while conducting in depth research and delivering lectures across the globe.

4. He liked to make TV show cameos. Hawking was not afraid of the small screen and has made some strange TV cameos over the years, most notably on ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation,’ where he became the first person to play himself in 1993, Digital Spy noted.

Hawking also appeared in ‘Neighbors’ in 1995 and ‘East Enders’ in 2009.

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Stephen Hawking was regarded as perhaps the greatest living scientist right up until his death Wednesday at age 76. His voice was key in understanding the universe and his contribution to theoretical physics earned him countless accolades over the years.
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Wednesday, 14 March 2018 08:48 AM
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