Some milestones in British physicist Stephen Hawking’s life:
• Hawking is born in Oxford, England, on Jan. 8, 1942 – 300 years to the day of Galileo’s death.
• In 1963, while studying for his Ph.D. at Cambridge University, Hawking is diagnosed with motor neurone disease, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Doctors give him about two years to live.
• Hawking marries Jane Wilde in 1965. They later have three children.
• In 1979, Hawking is named the Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge, a post previously held by Sir Isaac Newton.
• During a 1985 trip to CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research near Geneva, Hawking catches pneumonia. He requires a tracheotomy and loses the ability to speak. He soon begins using a computer and voice synthesizer.
• Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time” is published in 1988.
• In 1999, Hawking makes the first of several guest appearances on “The Simpsons.”
• Hawking takes a zero-gravity flight in 2007, the first time he is free of his wheelchair in 40 years.