Stephen Hawking. Did you catch him on The Big Bang Theory? Pretty funny guy in several scenes with Dr. Cooper (Jim Parsons).

Stephen Hawking is the former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and author of A Brief History of Time which was an international bestseller. Now Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge, his other books for the general reader include A Briefer History of Time, the essay collection Black Holes and Baby Universe and The Universe in a Nutshell.

In 1963, Hawking contracted motor neurone disease and was given two years to live. Yet he went on to Cambridge to become a brilliant researcher and Professorial Fellow at Gonville and Caius College. Since 1979 he has held the post of Lucasian Professor at Cambridge, the chair held by Isaac Newton in 1663. Professor Hawking has over a dozen honorary degrees and was awarded the CBE in 1982. He is a fellow of the Royal Society and a Member of the US National Academy of Science. Stephen Hawking is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein.

A grade 11 student chose to prove that black holes exist and at the time of his English theoretic paper assignment, there was little information available in his high school library.

Knowing Dr. Hawking's reputation, the teacher suggested Tony call Dr. Hawking for advice.

Tony said, "This is Dr. Hawking we're talking about. He isn't going to help a high school student."

But he did. The teacher placed the call, got through to two of Dr. Hawking's PhD students who provided Tony with a great deal of current research material then perused Tony's paper.

Tony was a brilliant Physics student and his paper was so complex the English teacher sent it to the University of British Columbia's Physics department head for grading.

Tony received an A for the English and an A for the Physics.

Dr. Hawking is gone now but his generosity and kindness will be with Tony and everybody with whom he shared his experience forever.


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