Stephen Hawking, is one great being who is known to all for different reasons. Some know him as one of the greatest physicist , some know him for his ideas on Hawking radiation , Quantum gravity or for the proof of the famous “Big Bang Theory” or some may know him as the author of famous books like “A Brief History of Time” and some know him as a completely paralyzed man who is unable to talk and move. But have you ever seen a scientist who has made appearances on famous tv shows like “The Simpsons”, “Star Trek: The next generation” .People have invested huge sums of money, to bring out his life on screen like “The Theory of Everything”. Today this extra-ordinary man who is an idol of many children, scientists and even people suffering from ALS, celebrates his 74th birthday.
In honor of the Great Physics Wizard, here are some interesting unknown facts about him-
1. The birth of the Genius
Stephen William Hawking was born on 8th January 1942 in England , on the 300th death anniversary of the great astronomer and physicist Galileo , who has so many groundbreaking observations to his credit.
2. Intellect in his Genes
Both his parents were genius and attended the University of Oxford ,despite their poor financial condition. His Father Frank Hawking was a medical researcher at the Oxford and his mother Isobel studied philosophy,politics and economics .Stephen has two younger sisters Philippa and Mary. His family was considered blessed of the ‘genius’ gene and but however, the society always found them somewhat odd.
3. Hidden Genius in a mediocre school goer
Stephen always showed an interest in how the things worked from an early age .Though he was quite lazy in his school studies and hardly got good grades. He would dissect clocks out of curiosity and try to understand what makes them tick and owing to these habits he earned the nickname of “Einstein” by his teachers.
4. Studies were a cake walk for him
He received a scholarship from the Oxford University by scoring almost perfect score in physics. Though his father thought he will take up medicine , this genius build his own path and instead, studied physics and chemistry at the university. At the university he was bored and lonely because he found the the academics extremely easy (pfffft! ).
5. Joined the rowing team at the university
With a lot of time on his hand, he chose to join the university’s rowing team . As he didn’t have an athletic build he was a coxswain of this team – the member who steers and coordinates the power and rhythm of rowers. He definitely took his Physics seriously !
6. Meeting love and death at the same time
Just days after his relationship with Jane Wilde, a friend of his sister, started blossoming he was diagnosed with a rare disease “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis” (ALS) at a mere age of 21.Doctors thought he would not see his 25th Birthday, but beating all odds we get to see his creative power explode for 49 more years. And may he live further on !
7. Father of three
He got married to Jane Wilde in 1965 and had three children Robert, Lucy and Timothy.But the couple divorced in 1995. He then found love in his nurse Elaine Mason and got re-married in 1995 but this relationship wasn’t meant to be either, and they separated in 2006.
8. Triumphed the near death condition
In 1985, he suffered from life-threatening pneumonia. His condition was so critical that his wife Jane was asked if she wants to pull the plug on him. She refused. In fact, he underwent tracheotomy in which his speech was removed. He would raise his eyebrow to tell letters from the spelling card. Later on he started using a computer program called the “Equaliser” in which he uses a switch to select phrases from the letter bank. This device has a very unique voice in American accent which has now become the identity of Hawking.
9. Even Sherlock played Hawking
Benedict Cumberbatch of the famous TV series “Sherlock” has paid tribute to Stephen Hawking by enacting him in a movie called “Hawking” based on his life which was released by BBC in 2004.
10. Hawking’s Legacy for Children
Its not that this great scientist cares only about science and all the complicated stuff he does. He cares about the future scientists as well. He has written a few books for children along with her daughter Lucy like , “George’s secret key to the universe “ and ” George’s cosmic hunt”. In these books Hawking has explained the advanced concepts of physics in a simplified way to make his work accessible to children.
Stephen Hawking has been and will always be a hero in the field of physics and has won against all odds in his life and may he live longer to remain an idol in our hearts fighting the oddballs life is throwing at him. So here is Icytales team wishing this great scientist,
A very Happy Birthday !!!