World-renowned theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astronomer and mathematician Stephen William Hawking was born on Jan. 8, 1942, in Oxford, England, The Guardian reported. He was 76.
Three years after being diagnosed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Hawking was still able to complete his doctoral work in theoretical physics at Cambridge University, submitting a thesis on black holes in 1966.
His book, “A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes,” was published in 1988.
In 2004, Hawking reversed his original 1966 theory that black holes swallow everything in their path forever and declared that black holes will never support space travel to other universes.
ALS also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is usually fatal after three years. Hawking survived with the disease for over 50 years.
The disease eventually left him paralyzed and completely dependent on others and/or technology for everything: bathing, dressing, eating, mobility and speech. He was able to move only a few fingers on one hand.
To speak, Hawking used a keyboard-operated electronic speech synthesizer adapted to his wheelchair. In an odd twist, the synthesizer gave the British scholar an American accent.
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Byline: Kennedy Ryan, CNN Wire