Stephen Hawking, a renowned British scientist, has died. Hawking, known for reshaping cosmology, was 76. He was probably the best-known scientist in the world. He was a theoretical physicist whose early work on black holes transformed how scientists think about the nature of the universe. Hawking, who suffered from a debilitating neurological disease that made it impossible for him to move his limbs or speak, was also a popular public figure and best-selling author.

There was even a biopic about Stephen Hawking’s life, The Theory of Everything, which won an Oscar. Born in Oxford, England and affected with a motor neuron disease, Stephen Hawking was one of the most acclaimed Theoretical Physicists of modern times. Besides his contribution in the field of Science, his life had many other things worth knowing. (Also read: Nothing existed before Big Bang: Stephen Hawking)

Take a look at some of the interesting facts about Stephen Hawking:

  • Many find it surprising, for instance, that, despite his influential body of work, Hawking hasn’t yet been awarded the Nobel Prize.
  • Hawking was born on Jan. 8, 1942, which just happened to be the 300th anniversary of Galileo’s death.
  • Hawking has made many important contributions to the fields of cosmology and quantum gravity. He is also well known for his bestselling book ‘A Brief History of Time’.
  • Some of the awards Hawking has received for his work include the 1979 Albert Einstein Medal, the Order of the British Empire (Commander) in 1982 and the 1988 Wolf Prize in Physics.
  • Famous Stephen Hawking quotes include: “There ought to be something very special about the boundary conditions of the universe and what can be more special than that there is no boundary?”
  • Stephen Hawking took a liking to mathematics from an early age, and he would have liked to have majored in it. His father, Frank, however, had different ideas. He hoped Stephen would instead study medicine.
  • In 1963, at the age of 21, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, which is a neurological disease that causes patients to lose control of their voluntary muscles. He was told he’d probably only have a few years to live.
  • Stephen Hawking is an advocate of searching for other habitable planets in order to survive the human race and in 2007 he took a zero-gravity flight to experience the weightlessness.
  • In 1997, Stephen Hawking lost a bet to American Theoretical Physicist about the concept of Black Holes which stated that nothing can escape from a black hole which was in violation of the fundamentals of quantum mechanics.
  • ‘The Theory of Everything’ depicts the challenging marriage between Stephen and Jane Hawking. Eventually, the couple divorced and Stephen married his nurse, Elaine Mason (Maxine Peake). Stephen and Elaine divorced in 2006, after 11 years of marriage.