There have been many great men of science who have achieved great things under very trying circumstances. But Stephen Hawking is an exception. When Stephen was in his third year at Oxford at the age of twentyone, he became afflicated with Motor Neurone disease that disintegrated his nerve cells and paralysed his muscles. His speech became slurred. Doctors gave Hawking only two years more of life. Undaunted by this gloomy diagnosis Hawking completed his course at Oxford, and completed his Ph.D. In 1974 he was made Fellow of the Royal Society, a rare honour even for a scientist with a healthy physical condition. During a research visit to Swiazerland he contracted pneumonia and a windpipe operation had to be done. He lost his speech. His muscular state worsened. He became tied to a wheelchair with  a computer attached to it to help  him in his research. His indomitable spirit and almost superhuman intellectual power helped him to continue with his work. Two books, A brief History of Time and The Universe in a Nutshell, have popularized his epoch-making theories about the Creation and the Universe. Hawking is  considered by many as the greatest physicist and mathematician after Einstein. He has shown how human intellect spirit can rise above the greatest of physical shortcoming.

He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. Hawking was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009 and has achieved commercial success with works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general; his book A Brief History of Time appeared on the British Sunday Times best-seller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks.

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