Stephen Hawking, a life in 10 dates

March 14, 2018

Here are 10 key dates in the life of renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking, who died Wednesday at the age 76:

- January 8, 1942: He is born in the city of Oxford.

- 1962: With a degree in physics from the University of Oxford, he undertakes research in cosmology at Cambridge, completing a doctorate thesis entitled "Properties of the Expanding Universes".

- 1963: He learns that he suffers from a form of the degenerative and paralysing motor-neurone disease (ALS).

- 1965: He marries Jane Wilde, with whom he has three children before they separate after 25 years. In 1995 he marries his former nurse, Elaine Mason; they too divorce after several years.

- 1974: He becomes at 32 one of the youngest members of the Royal Society, Britain's most prestigious scientific body.

- 1979: He is appointed Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, a post he occupies for 30 years.

- 1985: He loses the ability to speak after undergoing a tracheotomy to help him breathe after contracting pneumonia. This results eventually in his use of a computer and a voice synthesiser to communicate.

- 1988: Hawking publishes "A Brief History of Time", which seeks to explain to non-scientists the fundamental theories of the universe. It becomes an international bestseller, bringing him global acclaim.

- 2007: He goes on a weightless flight in the United States as a prelude to a hoped-for sub-orbital spaceflight.

- 2014: The Hawking biopic "The Theory of Everything", by director James Marsh, is released. British actor Eddie Redmayne goes on to win an Oscar for his portrayal of the scientist.

Explore further: Stephen Hawking: a brief history of genius

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