Little well-known facts around the astronomical life the author, cosmologist and physicist Stephen Hawking.

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Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking died on march 14, 2018—also well-known as Pi Day—at age 76. The scientist stands the end for his far-reaching contributions to the field of cosmology, the research of the origin and breakthrough of the universe. During his career, Hawking became a social icon that tried come make clinical concepts easily accessible to the broader community.

His 1988 book, A Brief of Time, set a Guinness people Record by staying on the Sunday Times best-seller perform for four and also a fifty percent years. Still, the book’s conversation of principles like time, space, black holes, and also the big Bang showed to be a bit facility for non-scientists, and also Hawking favored to joke that it was the least-read, most-purchased book in That’s why in 2005, he released a an ext accessible version of the original referred to as A Briefer of Time.

Hawking to be so popular that during his lifetime, he showed up on TV shows prefer Star Trek, The Simpsons, The huge Bang Theory, and Last mainly Tonight with John Oliver. In addition, actor Eddie Redmayne won an Oscar for his portrayal the Hawking in The concept of Everything. But despite his popularity, there’s still a lot you could not know about him.

1. Doctors told the he wouldn’t live previous his early 20s


Cosmologist Stephen Hawking ~ above October 10, 1979 in Princeton, new Jersey. (Credit: Santi Visalli/Getty Images)

Hawking to be diagnosed through amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, as soon as he was just 21. ALS influence the nerve cells involved in voluntarily muscle movement, diminish a person’s capability to move and speak over time. Usually, symptoms develop after age 50, and also lead to fatality within a few months or years.

So as soon as doctors diagnosed Hawking v ALS at the very young age of 21, the predicted the would just live a pair of years. Instead, he lived for 55 an ext years.

“The human race,” the said, “is so puny compared to the world that gift disabled is not of much cosmic significance.”

2. He was a wild wheelchair driver

Hawking began using crutches ~ his diagnosis in the ‘60s, and resisted transitioning come a wheelchair. Yet once that started, that was apparently a quite wild driver.

“There’s one apocryphal story the end there—I don’t recognize if it’s true—that he actually ran end Prince Charles’ toes,” claims Kristine M. Larsen, a professor astronomy at main Connecticut State University and author of Stephen Hawking: A Biography.

“He definitely liked to run in his wheelchair ~ above the dance floor,” she says. “I remember seeing him wiz through conferences in his wheelchair.” ~ one event where that crashed his wheelchair and also broke his hip, he also joked “about gift a negative driver.”


Hawking is known for his theoretical contributions to science. Yet like any kind of scientist, that didn’t constantly get whatever right the an initial time; and he had a call for placing and also losing bets on clinical concepts.

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In 1975, he bet physicist Kip Thorne a Penthouse subscription that an expensive object well-known as Cygnus X-1 was not a black color hole. Later, he likewise bet who an encyclopedia end Hawking’s claim that info gets lost in black color holes, and also wagered $100 the no one would ever uncover the Higgs boson. Eventually, he lost all 3 of these bets.