Stephen Hawking, the British theoretical physicist who overcame a devastating neurological disease to probe the greatest mysteries of the cosmos and become a globally celebrated symbol of the power of the human mind, has died, a family spokesman told the Associated Press. He was 76.
Unable to move a muscle, speechless but for a computer-synthesized voice, Dr. Hawking had suffered since the age of 21 from a degenerative motor neuron disease similar to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Initially given two years to live, a diagnosis that threw him into a profound depression, he found the strength to complete his doctorate and rise to the position of Lucasian professor of mathematics at the University of Cambridge, the same post held by Isaac Newton 300 years earlier.
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Joel Achenbach, Boyce Rensberger