Biography Stephen Hawking

Stephen William Hawking was born in Oxford on 8 January 1942. His parents had moved their for a short time as it was considered a safer place than London with the Capital being bombed by the Germans. His father Dr. Frank Hawking was a Research Biologist and his mother Isobel Hawking was a Political Activist. After his birth the family moved back to London where his father headed the division of parasitology at the National Institute for Medical Research.

In 1950 they moved to St. Albans when Stephen’s father moved to the Institute for Medical Research in Mill Hill.At the age of eleven, Stephen went to St. Albans School which was not his fathers first choice for him. His father wanted him to take the scholarship examination to go to Westminster public school when he was old enough but on the day of the test Stephen was ill. In his final years at St. Albans Stephen wanted to study mathematics but his father persuaded him to take chemistry instead. After leaving St. Albans in 1959 he went on to University College, Oxford; his father’s old college where he he pursued Physics not Medicine like his father had wanted. . After three years and not very much work, he was awarded a first class honours degree in Natural Science. In his last year at Oxford Hawking had noticed that he was becoming rather clumsy ut he never went to be checked out.

After leaving Oxford Hawking went on to Cambridge to take up research in general relativity and cosmology, a difficult area for someone with only a little mathematical background. When he returned home for Christmas 1962 at the end of his first term at Cambridge, his mother persuaded him to see a doctor.

In 1963 at the age of 21 he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis a form of motor neuron disease. After his diagnosis his condition deteriorated quickly and the doctors predicted that he would not live long enough to complete his doctorate. He surprised everyone by surviving and after 2 years the disease stabilised and he continued working towards a Ph.D.

In 1965 Hawking married Jane Wilde a language student. She had been the turning point in his studying.

After gaining his Ph.D., Stephen became first a Research Fellow, and later on a Professorial Fellow at Gonville and Caius College.

In 1974 Hawking was elected as one of the youngest Fellows of the Royal Society

In 1982 he was awarded a CBE.

In 1991 Stephen seperaited from Jane.