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Life in pictures: Stephen Hawking — the physicist who conquered the stars

Hawking in spite of various physical challenges wrote as many as seven books on physics and co-authored five others.
Updated Mar 14, 2018 01:19pm

Renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking, whose mental genius and physical disability made him a household name and inspiration across the globe, died at age 76 on Wednesday.

The physicist and cosmologist had defied death for decades after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease when he was a 21-year-old student at Cambridge University. Most people die within a few years of the diagnosis of the disease, also called the motor neurone disease.

Hawking in spite of his various physical challenges, wrote as many as seven books on physics and co-authored five others.

In his last days, he communicated only by twitching his right cheek. Since catching pneumonia in 1985, Hawking needed round-the-clock care and relied on a computer and voice synthesizer to speak.

Hawking arrives on the red carpet with former wife Jane Hawking (L) and daughter Lucy Hawking (R) for the BAFTA British Academy Film Awards at the Royal Opera House in London. A film based on Jane's memoir about Hawking called *The Theory of Everything* was nominated for various awards in 2014. — AFP
Hawking arrives on the red carpet with former wife Jane Hawking (L) and daughter Lucy Hawking (R) for the BAFTA British Academy Film Awards at the Royal Opera House in London. A film based on Jane's memoir about Hawking called The Theory of Everything was nominated for various awards in 2014. — AFP

US President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Hawking during a ceremony held on August 12, 2009 at the White House. — AFP
US President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Hawking during a ceremony held on August 12, 2009 at the White House. — AFP

British physicist Stephen Hawking and his daughter Lucy Hawking, on April 21, 2008, gave a lecture entitled 'Why We Should Go Into Space' during the 50 Years of NASA lecture series at George Washington University in Washington, DC. — AFP
British physicist Stephen Hawking and his daughter Lucy Hawking, on April 21, 2008, gave a lecture entitled 'Why We Should Go Into Space' during the 50 Years of NASA lecture series at George Washington University in Washington, DC. — AFP

Stephen Hawking, in 2007, experienced a total of four minutes of weightlessness in a plane that dives through the sky to give passengers a taste of zero gravity. — AFP
Stephen Hawking, in 2007, experienced a total of four minutes of weightlessness in a plane that dives through the sky to give passengers a taste of zero gravity. — AFP

Hawking gives a lecture during the Starmus Festival on the Spanish Canary island of Tenerife on September 23, 2014. — AFP
Hawking gives a lecture during the Starmus Festival on the Spanish Canary island of Tenerife on September 23, 2014. — AFP

Former US President Bill Clinton and Hawking watch a scene from *Star Trek the Next Generation* during a "Millennium Evening" held on March 6, 1998, at the White House in Washington, DC. — AFP
Former US President Bill Clinton and Hawking watch a scene from Star Trek the Next Generation during a "Millennium Evening" held on March 6, 1998, at the White House in Washington, DC. — AFP

In this March 3, 1989 file photo British astrophysicist Dr. Stephen Hawking, 47, answers newsmen with the help of his computer and the assistance of his then wife Jane, in Paris. — AP
In this March 3, 1989 file photo British astrophysicist Dr. Stephen Hawking, 47, answers newsmen with the help of his computer and the assistance of his then wife Jane, in Paris. — AP