Stephen Hawking

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Stephen Hawking
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Stephen Hawking has lived long enough to revolutionize science in many ways. He made it appealing to the general public by publishing his bestselling book, “A Brief History of Time,” in 1988. It was then followed by “Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays” in 1993, “The Universe in a Nutshell” in 2001, “On The Shoulders of Giants” in 2002, “A Briefer History of Time” and “God Created the Integers: The Mathematical Breakthroughs That Changed History” in 2005, and “The Grand Design” in 2010.


Why Stephen Hawking is Extraordinary

When diagnosed with a motor neurone disease related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, Stephen was given two-and-a-half years to live. That was a theory proven inaccurate, as the physicist continues to enjoy a full life despite being bound to his wheelchair. He is now in his seventies, which is amazing considering the diagnosis was made 50 years ago when he had just turned 21.

Innately brilliant and excruciatingly curious, there is no stopping Stephen from exploring the cosmos. As his illness progressed, his ability to communicate became more and more restricted, but with the help of foundations and well-meaning organizations he has been able to cope. He has uncovered numerous mysteries that are now considered valuable contributions to the study of the universe. His body may be confined to a wheelchair, but his mind continues to explore endless opportunities to answer the many questions we face about life and existence.

It takes a great deal of bravery to face life with such vigor while being dependent on others for assistance, but Stephen Hawking chose to live every single second added to his life in the fullest-possible ways. He gave lectures, wrote books, had children and earned his family’s keep; for someone as promising and brilliant as him, contracting a disease such as ALS could not demotivate him in striving to achieve anything in his remaining years.

Writing Bestselling Books

Stephen Hawking wrote and published the record-breaking book “A Brief History of Time” in 1988. It stayed on the New York Times’ bestselling list for 237 weeks, easily outdoing the existing record of just over 100 weeks; as such, its success was noted in the Guinness Book of World Records. Stephen’s academic career also flourished, the highlight being his appointment as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, a position held by past science luminaries such as Galileo Galilee. Prior to becoming an author and instant celebrity, Stephen had already caught the attention of the Royal family, and was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1982. In 2009, the United States of America awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award given by the U.S. government.

Not Silenced or Confined by Disability

While his condition could have elicited nothing more than pity, the world is in awe of this relentless scientist. His achievements validate not only cosmological theories, but the infinite ability of the human mind to discover and wander. In a paradoxical sense, Dr. Stephen Hawking only began to live when he lost his dexterity and mobility. He admitted that without ALS, he wouldn’t have had enough time to focus on his research.

Word-for-word, Stephen constructs his sentences using a custom-made communication contraption that enables him to speak with the help of a synthesizer. In order to do computations with little physical effort, he has learned to use geographical figures to make calculations.

Dr. Hawking “speaks” on behalf of people with disabilities, and has been an active member of organizations that lobby for more significant aides to make life easier for impaired citizens.

Among his legacies are his theories and controversial books, but perhaps the greatest of them is the exemplary life he now lives in spite of his condition. What a victory for someone who had every reason to stop looking for answers to even the most difficult questions.

Top Reasons why Stephen Hawking is Extraordinary

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