Stephen Hawking: A Legend

Today, we lost one of the world’s most iconic scientific minds.

Stephen William Hawking was born on January 8, 1942 (300 years to the day of Galileo’s death). Although he was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 21, Hawking devoted his life to making sense of the universe.

My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all. -SH

He worked extensively to unify Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and quantum theory, developed Hawking radiation theory, and, in 1988, became an international best-selling author after publishing A Brief History of Time. His many accomplishments within the scientific realm have undoubtedly catapulted him to fame with the likes of Tesla, Bohr, Rutherford, Einstein, Franklin, Newton, and Galileo.

Not only was Hawking a brilliant physicist, but also a pop culture icon. While I grew up watching his documentaries on PBS after school with my dad, others may have recognized him from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Futurama, the Simpsons, and the Big Bang Theory. Pink Floyd even sampled Hawking’s voice in their 1994 track ‘Keep Talking.’ In 2014, The Theory of Everything was released with Eddie Redmayne portraying Stephen Hawking during his early life, diagnosis, and scientific success. Redmayne went on to win the Oscar for Best Actor in this role.

Ultimately, Stephen Hawking contributed more to mankind in a lifetime than many of us could ever fathom. He made science accessible to non-scientists and helped generate new enthusiasm for the field of theoretical physics. It is without doubt that his work will guide research for future generations. His contributions will live on forever. We truly lost a legend today.

I believe the simplest explanation is, there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization that there probably is no heaven and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful. -SH

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Stephen William Hawking

January 8, 1942- March 14, 2018

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