Stephen Hawking

Last night, my friend told me Stephen Hawking died tomorrow. Of course, living on the West Coast of the United States we were the last ones to make it to today.

Her comment wasn’t intended as a joke. She was genuinely distraught over Dr. Hawking’s death. Her comment does, in a way, some up the bittersweet situation and the life of Stephen Hawking. After being diagnosed with A.L.S. in 1963, at age 21, he was given a mere three years to live. The fact that he made it to 76 is amazing in itself. What he was able to accomplish with his time is mind-blowing. Overcoming his diminished physical capacity to accomplish the things he did is just icing.

I don’t need to get into all his accomplishments. Right now, I’m lost in the paradox that he lived 54 years longer than he was supposed to and his death is still sad. He was one of those people who made science accessible to those of us who aren’t scientists. Along with people like Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Sean Carroll…, he made science fun. As important as science is to our lives and our future, that is a great accomplishment.

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  1. My sister-in-law, Esther, also had A.L.S. She got it in 1980 when she was 38. She lived until 2005. She always said that Steven Hawkings gave her hope and inspiration. She was an activist before A.L.S. and she had to decide do I continue or should I give up. She decided to continue on with her life, going to live in Mexico and Nicaragua in 1987 to help the disabled there. If you are interested in reading her story see:


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