Stephen Hawking as a young man
Stephen and Jane on their wedding day

Stephen Hawking's Early History

Stephen Hawking was born on the 8th January, 1942 in Oxford, England (300 years after Galieo).
Ever since he was young, he had always been interested in science. He liked building models and see how things worked.
When he was 16, he made a computer with his friends. That was 2 decades before computers revolutionized our communication.
When it was time to start to think about college, he wanted to study physics but his father wanted him to become a doctor like himself. Eventually, Stephen won the argument. He went to Cambridge and studied Cosmology.
At the age of 20, Stephen was diagnosed with the incurable illness, ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). This really affected him with his studies. He began to lose control of his muscles. He was told he would die within a few years. Stephen was shocked and very upset. He could not find a reason to live until he met his wife, Jane Wilde. His illness slowed down and he finished his Ph.D and was awarded a first class honours degree in Natural Science.

After gaining his Ph.D

After gaining his Ph.D, Stephen was a Professorial Fellow at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. In 1973 he left the Institute of Astronomy to become Professor of Mathematics at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics.

Stephen mainly studied the Universe. From 1965-70, he showed the Big Bang theory and between 1970-74, Stephen focused his studies on black holes.

In 1985, Stephen unfortunately suffered with pneumonia and had to have an operation that caused him to lose his voice. Until a speech synthesizer and portable computer was fitted to his wheelchair, he found it hard to communicate.

Stephen after he got ALS

Some awards Stephen Hawking has received

1975 - Eddington Medal

1976 - Hughes Medal of the Royal Society

1979 - Albert Einstein Medal

1981 - Franklin Medal

1982 - Order of the British Empire

1985 - Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society

1986 - Member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences

1988 - Wolf Prize in Physics

1989 - Prince of Asturias Award

1989 - Companion of Honour

1999 - Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society

2003 - Michelson Morley Award of Case Western Reserve University

2006 - Copley Medal of the Royal Society

2008 - Fonseca Price of the University of Santiago de Comostela

2009 - Presidential Medal of Freedom

If I was a Scientist..........

If I was a scientist I would be a physicist because I have always had an interest in the way the Solar System works. I would like to know more about planets and the Universe in general.

Stephen's first time feeling weightless in 2007


Stephanie Sammartino McPherson, 2007, Stephen Hawking, Twenty-First Century Books, Minneapolis.
http://library.thinkquest.org/C007571/english/advance/biography.htm accessed 11/5/2011
http://www.hawking.org.uk/index.php/about-stephen/briefhistory accessed 11/5/2011