Who is Stephen Hawking?

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Stephen Hawking is a physicist who studies cosmology. He has contributed invaluable research on black holes. Hawking suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. According to Biography, Hawking's daily struggle to communicate without technology has led him to work with Apple Inc. to create an artificial intelligence that can read thoughts.

Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 1963. ALS is a disease in which the nerves that control the muscles shut down. Biography states that Hawking's diagnosis is what motivated him to dedicate his life to scientific research and discovery.

Hawking's work in cosmology has earned him many honors and distinguished titles. At 32 years old, he was named a fellow of the Royal Society. He later received an Albert Einstein Award, was honored with the Pius XI Gold Medal for Science in 1975 and was a recipient of the Commander of the Order of the British Empire. His work has granted him coveted teaching positions across the globe as well, including Cambridge University's prestigious Lucasian Professor of Mathematics position in 1979.

As of June 2014, Hawking has published 13 books about space and over 50 scholarly articles. He is a prolific writer dedicated to understanding humankind and space, and he attempts to make cosmology accessible to the nonscientific community, as demonstrated by the 1988 bestseller, "A Brief History of Time."

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Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking is considered the world's foremost living theoretical physicist. He's an expert on black holes whose stated intention is to unify quantum mechanics with Einstein's general theory of relativity, forming a single theory to exp... More »
Born: January 8, 1942 (age 72), Oxford, England
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