A man of great adversity and achievement, Stephen Hawking has always sought to answer some of the toughest questions about the universe. As a theoretical physicist and cosmologist his topics of expertise include the big bang, relativity, black holes, and quantum gravity.
He was diagnosed with motor neuron disease or ALS at the age of 21 and was told that he had about two years to live. Stephen Hawking found the will to survive with the help of his wife Jane and his research. He excelled in his field with his brilliant mind while he was losing control of his body. Several times during his life he was unable to communication effectively but he currently uses a speech generating device that responds to signals from his body. At age 71 he continues to stun the world with his ideas and research.
In his own words, his “proudest achievement has been to inspire people to think about the cosmos and our place in it.” An example of this was writing a book to help everybody understand the science of the universe and his ideas. A Brief History of Time has sold over 10 million copies since it was published in 1988 and stayed on the Sunday Times best-seller list for over four years.
To learn more about Stephen Hawking, read his recent memoir, My Brief History.