New Delhi: British physicist Stephen Hawking, who is known as one of the biggest pioneers of science, died on Wednesday, March 14 at the age of 76.
Diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 1963 at the age of 21, Hawking was given only a few years to live, but he defied the odds and survived for more than half a century.
The rare disease left him wheelchair-bound and largely unable to speak except through a voice synthesiser.
As a tribute to the legendary scientist's inspiring work and life, we give you some of his famous quotes and facts about him.
1. Stephen Hawking was born in Oxford and grew up in St Albans, as the eldest of four siblings. His father was a research biologist and his mother was a medical research secretary. His birth date is the 300th anniversary of the death of physicist Galileo Galilei.
2. Hawking has twelve honorary degrees, was awarded the CBE in 1982 and is a Fellow of The Royal Society and a Member of the US National Academy of Science.
3. Hawking has estimated that he studied about a thousand hours during his three years at Oxford. These unimpressive study habits made sitting his finals a challenge, and he decided to answer only theoretical physics questions rather than those requiring factual knowledge.
4. Hawking was diagnosed with ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease, at the age of 21. He has a rare, slow-progressing form of ALS, which has gradually paralysed him over the decades.
5. Hawking's 1988 book A Brief History of Time became a bestseller and sold more than 10 million copies in 20 years. It was on the Sunday Times bestseller list for more than four years.
6. In 2002, Hawking was ranked number 25 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.
1. “However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”
2. “My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn't prevent you doing well, and don't regret the things it interferes with. Don't be disabled in spirit as well as physically.”
3. “I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.”
4. “We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.”
5. “Life would be tragic if it weren't funny.”