Stephen Hawking

By: Bell, Calvert, Weirich, White, Wooledge

“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” -Stephan Hawking

Texas A&M dedicates physics auditorium to Stephen Hawking.

Birth and Childhood

Hawking was born January 8, 1942 in Oxford, UK. During WWII, Hawking lived in Oxford; when he was eight, his family moved to St. Albans. His family wasn’t considered wealthy, but they did stress education. Hawking studied at St. Albans School and began physics studies at University College, Oxford when he was seventeen. He graduated with a first-class honours degree in Natural Science.

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Stephan at a young age.

Adulthood, Struggles, and Personal Life

Hawking continued his studies at the University of Cambridge, majoring in cosmology. It was during this time that his father noticed him constantly tripping and falling over. At 21, he went to the hospital and was diagnosed with ALS, a disease which weakens the nerves throughout the body and paralyzes the patient. It eventually kills the patient. He was given two and a half years to live.

Hawking did not let this slow him down: he remained optimistic and tried to focus on other endeavours. The little time he had left motivated him to finish his doctorate degree in cosmology. But he lived far beyond what was estimated. His condition continued to worsen when he contracted pneumonia. He underwent an operation that helped his pneumonia, but made him mute. After recovering, he was wheelchair-bound and communicated through a computer device. With his optimism, his family and friends’ care, and his young diagnosis, he was able to live long and prosper.

Before his ALS diagnosis, Hawking met a young woman named Jane Wilde, who he married in 1965. Hawking and Wilde had two sons and a daughter: Robert, Lucy, and Timothy. Their relationship lasted until 1990, when Hawking left for his nurse, Elaine Mason. The marriage was stressful on his kids, but after he divorced Mason in 2006 he became closer with his family. Hawking and Wilde remarried in 2007, and they remain married to this day.

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Stephan and his wife, Jane Wilde at their wedding in 1965.


Hawking performed groundbreaking cosmological research, especially in black holes and the origin of the universe. He received twelve honorary degrees, won the Commander of the British Empire in 1982, Companion of Honor in 1989, and became a Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He also won the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. Additionally, he has written many best-selling scientific books, including A Brief History of Time, which sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. In popular media, he has made cameo appearances in various TV shows, such as The Big Bang Theory and The Simpsons. Today, he continues to research and lecture about cosmology and artificial intelligence.
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Hawking with Jim Parsons during the filming of the show The Big Bang Theory.
Stephen hawking - Motivational video

“However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.” -Stephan Hawking

Conflicts and Resolution

Hawking's conflict in life is is that he has ALS. But, he never let it slow him down if he couldn’t do something he would find another way, he always keeps going and does whatever he can get. His life motto is “There are no boundaries.”


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