Stephen Hawking, renowned physicist and cultural icon, dies aged 76

Stephen Hawking, renowned physicist and cultural icon, dies ages 76

Stephen Hawking, the renowned physicist and cultural icon has passed away

Few physicists are as well known and highly regarded as Professor Stephen Hawking, a figure whose legacy can be considered as anything short of legendary, finding success despite every difficulty that life threw at him.   

During his long and successful career, Hawking helped to lay down the theoretical frameworks for many generally accepted scientific principles, such as Big Bang Theory and what is now known as Hawking Radiation. Hawking also achieved fame outside of the scientific world, having guest appearances in The Simpsons, The Big Bang Theory and Star Trek: The Next Generation. 

Stephen Hawking is also famous for his work for disability awareness, having at the age of 22 been diagnosed with a rare condition called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease which was expected to kill him in a few short years, paralysing his body over time. Despite this diagnosis, Hawking continued to persevere, living until the age of 76. Stephen Hawking died peacefully at his home in Cambridge during the early hours of March 14th, 2018.  

As a man, Hawking is well regarded as having a great sense of humour, having participated in several comedy sketches, including appearances in a Monty Python Reunion sketch (shown below) and Comic Relief.  

Today some of Hawking’s most famous traits include his iconic computerised voice, a wonder of technology which enabled the scientist to continue working throughout his life, despite his debilitating illness. This system was recently replaced by Intel in 2014, though Hawking refused to move away from his Americanised accent.   

Hawking is also famous for his kind heart, working throughout his life to further the needs of equality for the disabled while also championing the UK’s National Health Service, reportedly being selected for a Knighthood, something which he refused. It is widely believed that Hawking considers the British Monarchy as an “out of date system”.    

Below is a video which details correspondence between Stephen Hawking and a British comedian called Jimmy Carr, who jokingly sent him a letter regarding a fictitious disabled son who wanted him to “come around and play”. Stephen’s response was to get his assistant to contact the comedian, later Hawking sends a personal letter to the son, sharing one of his favourite childhood experiences, purchasing the child (who was reported to him as having a similar disability) a ride on a hot air balloon. Stephen Hawking was a kind-hearted individual. 

In later years, Hawking has reportedly attended Jimmy Carr gigs, dined with him and have attended a production of The Book of Mormon together.    

With the passing of Stephen Hawking, the world has lost one of its greatest minds, so much so that it can be argued that the average IQ in the UK has seen a significant drop. Stephen Hawking will be remembered as one of the world’s scientific greats, though our memory will also include the man’s comedic nature and his incredible determination and willpower. Rest in peace Stephen. 

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