Tribute: Stephen Hawking: the Man, the Myth, the Legend


Written by Oscar Scholin, Journalist

Stephen Hawking, born January 8,1942 on Galileo Galilei’s 300th birthday, passed away on March 14th, 2018 at the age of 76. Hawking was diagnosed with a rare early-onset slow-progressing form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, when he was 21. According to Hawking, this prognostication of his death motivated him to pursue certain intellectual achievements and breakthroughs. One of his most famous works, A Brief History of Time, explains the history of the universe from the Big Bang to modern times. He also held the position of Lucasian Professor at Cambridge, one also held by Isaac Newton 316 years earlier. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Society, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. He even flew on Virgin Atlantic’s reduced-gravity aircraft in 2007 to demonstrate to people with disabilities everywhere that anything can be achieved.

He died peacefully in his home in Cambridge, England, on the morning of March 14th – 139 years to the day after Albert Einstein’s birth. Following a Thanksgiving service later in 2018, Hawking will be buried in Westminster Abbey near Charles Darwin and Sir Isaac Newton. He declared that the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy equation (see link) would be his epitaph. His books are on sale at or for borrowing at a local library.