Stephen Hawking's Legacy

Stephen Hawking, the renowned cosmologist and theoretical physicist, died yesterday at the age of 76.  Diagnosed with ALS in 1963, when he was 21, he was advised that he had but two years to live.  So much for predicting the course of human disease.

Determined to receive his Doctorate, Hawking carried on with the support of his first wife, eventually overcoming the loss of both his mobility and his speech.  Nevertheless, his courageous perseverance and remarkable intelligence led to discoveries about the nature of our Universe and its origin (especially black holes), furthering the work of Einstein and others.

Despite his physical limitations, Stephen Hawking relied on modern technology to communicate with colleagues and to educate the general public.  In the course of doing so, he retained a strict devotion to the scientific method, refusing to condone mysticism in any form.  In the end, he exceeded all expectations.   See also: A Tribute to Stephen Hawking