Stephen William Hawking CH CBE FRS FRSA was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author who was director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge at the time of his death.
Stephen Hawking was a British scientist, professor and author who did pioneering work in physics and cosmology and whose books helped make science accessible to all.
Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, England. His birthday was also the 300th anniversary of Galileo’s death, long a source of pride for the renowned physicist. The eldest of four children of Frank and Isobel Hawking, Hawking was born into a family of thinkers.
The Grand Design was Hawking’s first major publication in nearly a decade. In his new work, Hawking wanted to challenge Isaac Newton’s belief that the universe must have been designed by God simply because it could not arise from chaos.
At a New Years Eve party in 1963, Hawking met a young language student named Jane Wilde. They were married in 1965. The couple gave birth to a son, Robert, in 1967, and a daughter, Lucy, in 1970. A third son, Timothy, arrived in 1979.
In July 2015, Hawking held a press conference in London to announce the launch of a project called Breakthrough Listen. Funded by Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner and was created to devote more resources to discovering extraterrestrial life.