Stephen Hawking, who is considered the most brilliant mind in the contemporary world, died on March 14 of 2018 due to complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the disease that afflicted him since his youth.
Hawking, born in the British city of Oxford, died at the age of 76 in Cambridge, home city of the university that bears the same name and was the academic home of the scientist, who was specialized in the areas of physics, astrophysics and the cosmology. He was director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge at the time of his death.
He was a great author who managed to turn a book about the Big Bang and black holes into an unprecedented publishing success. The one that made ordinary citizens interested in cosmology, superstrings and the most complex part of mathematics. Many young people keep a copy of the book along with novels, historical biographies, newspapers and society magazines. The book, A Brief History of Time, was a great success because it did not resemble others.
But the most powerful image was carried by Hawking himself in his wheelchair with a slightly crooked head and the synthesizer that uttered words for him. He was given that for tracheotomy that left him voiceless in 1985. His constant presence in the media was an extraordinary reminder that with determination one can come to learn to live with a cruel disease.
His figure beside appearing in the world of science appeared in the contemporary pop culture. He often appeared in popular TV series and science fiction films.
Hawking was far from being a sick genius locked up in his house. He appeared in programs of the BBC discussing cultural phenomena like The Simpsons (of which he said that it was the best series of the history in the American television). He appeared several times in that series.
Hawking was a man with such a brilliant mind that it had started to function independently. A brain so powerful that very soon he understood that he did not need the body and decided to start a solo career. However, the most surprising aspect of Stephen Hawking`s personality was how little he cared about his illness. During the long half century that he lived with it, he insisted on leading a normal life - within the normal life of a theoretical physicist - and the most shocking thing is that he achieved it to a large extent.