Stephen Hawking

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Stephen Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, England. His father, Frank, was a specialist in tropical medicine, his profession often kept him away from home and family. Hawking?s mother, Isabelle, was a very politically active person, which kept her away from home too. Even though his parents were gone a lot, they had a big influence on his life. Hawking always wanted to study mathematics and physics, but his Dad said that mathematics did not have many job opportunities. He ended up majoring in physics and chemistry. Another reason he did not take mathematics was because it was not available at Oxford University, his local college. When he was growing up, he was a ?self-learner?. His friends did not know how smart he was until his second year of college. He and his friends were assigned thirteen honors questions in the area of electricity and magnetism. It took his friends, Derek, Gordan, and Richard, a week to complete two and a half of the problems.

Hawking did the first ten in three hours, he did not complete the others because he said he did not have enough time. Once, in college, he fell down a flight of stairs. After he fell down, he could not remember anything, gradually he began remembering, until he remembered it all, which took all of two hours. Stephen Hawking graduated from Oxford University at the age of twenty in 1962. He then took a trip to Prussia with a friend. During the visit, he became ill. Upon returning to England, he had a series of tests to identify his health problem. He moved to Cambridge to attend graduate school, which is where he learned that he had Lou Gehrig?s disease. This disease destroys the voluntary muscles, making normal tasks become impossible, such...