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Stephen Hawking, a life in 10 dates


By Agence France-Presse

Here are 10 key dates in the life of renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking, who died Wednesday at the age 76:

This combination of pictures created on March 14, 2018 shows (top left to bottom right) renowned cosmologist Professor Stephen Hawking as he attends a press conference at One World Observatory April 12, 2016 in New York; appearing during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Park in east London on August 29, 2012; speaking to an audience by hologram (L) in Hong Kong, beamed live from his office in Cambridge, England; as he (R) is surrounded by media before he addressed a joint press conference between Washington and London where the directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists pushed the hands of the 'Doomsday Clock' - a barometer of nuclear danger for the past 55 years - by two minutes closer to the midnight hour symbolising nuclear conflict, in central London, 17 January 2007; as he attends the launch of The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) at the University of Cambridge, in Cambridge, eastern England; as he speaks during an inaugural lecture "The Origin of the Universe" at the Hong University of Science and Technology, 15 June 2006; as he gives a press conference to present his latest book, "God Created the Integers: The mathematical breakthroughs that changed History" in Paris; is seen on a TV monitor during his conference to open the XXV Prince of Asturias Awards Anniversary event in Oviedo, northern Spain, 12 April 2005. Stephen Hawking won the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord in 1989; as he attends the launch of The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) at the University of Cambridge, in Cambridge, eastern England, on October 19, 2016. (AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

January 8, 1942: He is born in the city of Oxford.

1962: With a degree in physics from the University of Oxford, he undertakes research in cosmology at Cambridge, completing a doctorate thesis entitled “Properties of the Expanding Universes”.

1963: He learns that he suffers from a form of the degenerative and paralyzing motor-neurone disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

1965: He marries Jane Wilde, with whom he has three children before they separate after 25 years. In 1995 he marries his former nurse, Elaine Mason; they too divorce after several years.

1974: He becomes at 32 one of the youngest members of the Royal Society, Britain’s most prestigious scientific body.

1979: He is appointed Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, a post he occupies for 30 years.

1985: He loses the ability to speak after undergoing a tracheotomy to help him breathe after contracting pneumonia. This results eventually in his use of a computer and a voice synthesizer to communicate.

1988: Hawking publishes “A Brief History of Time”, which seeks to explain to non-scientists the fundamental theories of the universe. It becomes an international bestseller, bringing him global acclaim.

2007: He goes on a weightless flight in the United States as a prelude to a hoped-for sub-orbital spaceflight.

2014: The Hawking biopic “The Theory of Everything”, by director James Marsh, is released. British actor Eddie Redmayne goes on to win an Oscar for his portrayal of the scientist.

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