The world celebrates the life of Stephen Hawking, just as we also mourn his passing. Early this Wednesday, a family spokesman had this statement for the public,
“He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.”
Known for his brilliant mind and wheel chair bound physical disability, Hawking was perhaps the best-known theoretical physicist of his time, with an internationally best selling book, “A Brief History of Time,” which made him one of the biggest academic celebrities since Albert Einstein.
Interestingly, many around him and throughout the world credit Hawking’s fame with his unique and passionate enthusiasm for science and the quest to know the “theory of everything“, which he firmly believed could help humanity understand, comprehend and “know the mind of God.”
It was this amazing perspective, coupled with a singular genius that also made Hawking the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University like Sir Isaac Newton before him, as well as a pop and cultural sensation.
Hawking made cameo appearances on “The Simpsons“, “Star Trek“, and “The Big Bang Theory“, as well as the 2014 movie “The Theory of Everything“, which chronicled his life, and saw Eddie Redmayne win the best actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Hawking. In short, he helped make science accessible, understandable, and even fun through his status as a pop-culture figure and celebrity.
Needless to say this brief article will not do Stephen Hawking nor his work and impact on humanity the justice is rightly deserves, but Hawking left his mark in high fashion and like few others before him. He made science, truth, and the beauty of the Universe all around us, a little more real and knowable, and all the while dealing with a very challenging physical handicap. He never let it stop him from becoming a giant.
Thank you Stephen Hawking, for a life well spent, and a legacy well worth it! You will be missed and you will be celebrated!