January 8 – Happy Birthday, Stephen Hawking

Posted on January 8, 2016

Stephen Hawking is the most famous living physicist today. Actually, some claim he is the most famous living scientist!

He has a brilliant mind, and he has contributed to our understanding of gravity, general relativity, black holes, and quantum mechanics.

He has famously battled amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which has gradually paralyzed his body and required the use of a wheelchair and an electronic voice.

He has appeared on Star Trek, The Big Bang Theory, and Futurama, and he has granted the use of his recognizable (and copyrighted!) synthesized voice for a Pink Floyd song, an episode of The Simpsons, and a major motion picture about Hawking's life!

(By the way, Hawking's synthesized voice is American, despite the fact that Hawking is British.)

Hawking was free of his wheelchair--
and gravity!--briefly, on the "Vomit Comet."
Hawking has won tons of honors from the scientific community but also from such non-science sources as the British Royal Society of Arts, the Presidential Medal of Freedom from the United States, and the Prince of Asturias Award from Spain. His book A Brief History of Time was on the best-seller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks in Britain. (Compute that – it was on the best-seller list for more than FOUR and a HALF YEARS!)

Hawking has been married twice and has had three kids, now grown.

To celebrate Hawking's birthday (he was born on this date in 1942), check out some of the great moments of what I like to call Stephen Hawking TV:

Even better, read one of his books!

Also on this date:

Bubble Bath Day

Argyle Day

Plan ahead:

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