The Passing of an Icon: Stephen Hawking Dead at 76

Stephen Hawking

There is a black hole in the world today, one that can not be filled. It is a void cause by the loss of the intellectual genius of Stephen Hawking. Mr. Hawking died early Wednesday at his home in Cambridge, England at the age of 76.

NASA - Original. Source (StarChild Learning Center). Directory listing.

Stephen Hawking explored the expanses of space and the origins of the universe from a wheelchair, showing the world that physical limitations do not hinder the mind.

In 1963, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neuromuscular wasting disease (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and given three years to live. That didn’t keep him down, he went on to become the leader in the exploration of space theories.

The British scientist well-known internationally for his work with black holes and relativity, he discovered what became known as Hawking radiation. Dr. Hawking wrote several popular science books including A Brief History of Time.

He was a man who continually pushed his limits, expanding his mind and those around him. He also refused to let his physical handicaps get in the way. In 2007, he joined a  zero-gravity flight aboard a specially-equipped Boeing 727, a padded aircraft that flies a roller-coaster trajectory to produce fleeting periods of weightlessness When asked why he took these risks, he responded, “I want to show that people need not be limited by physical handicaps as long as they are not disabled in spirit.”

Stephen Hawking signature

On top of being a genius and a daredevil, Stephen Hawking was also a geek and frequently took time from his busy schedule to make appearance in shows such as The Simpsons, Red DwarfStar Trek: The Next Generation, Futurama, and The Big Bang Theory.

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In 2002, Dr. Hawking said he wanted the formula for Hawking radiation to be engraved on his tombstone. I hope they do it.

Star Trek: The Next Generation – “Descent, Part 1”

The opening scene from the episode: “Descent, Part 1”
where Data plays poker with Stephen Hawking, Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein.

Best of Big Bang Theory – “Stephen Hawking”

This video was put together showing the best of
special appearances of the brilliant mind of Professor Stephen Hawking.