Stephen Hawking: A Physics Icon Remembered in Photos

Brilliant mind

Stephen Hawking delivers a speech entitled "Why we should go into space" during a lecture for a series honoring NASA's 50th Anniversary, April 21, 2008, at George Washington University.

(Image credit: NASA/Paul Alers)

The iconic physicist and arguably one of the world's greatest minds, Stephen Hawking, died peacefully at his home in Cambridge, England, on March 14, 2018. As tributes pour out from colleagues, other cosmologists and enthusiasts the world over, Live Science looks back at Hawking's life. Though he used a wheelchair and could speak only through an electronic device in his cheek muscle (due to the debilitating motor neuron disease called ALS), Hawking probably did more in his lifetime for science and exploration than most others.

(Shown here, Hawking delivers a speech entitled "Why we should go into space" during a lecture for a series honoring NASA's 50th Anniversary, April 21, 2008, at George Washington University.)

A mathematician

Stephen Hawking in lecture hall

(Image credit: Terry Smith/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty)

The University of Cambridge physicist and author, Hawking, inside a lecture hall with mathematical equations in the background. In 1962, Hawking jointed the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge. In 1979, following in the footsteps of Isaac Newton, Hawking became the university's Lucasian Professor of Mathematics.

Celebrating his life

stephen hawking

(Image credit: Jean-Regis Rouston/Roger Viollet/Getty)

Hawking was born on Jan. 8, 1942, which was 300 years to the day after the death of the astronomer Galileo Galilei. It wasn't until age 21 that he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Two years before this diagnosis, Hawking married Jane Wilde. They had three children before separating.

When in Paris

Stephen Hawking in paris

(Image credit: Gilles Bassignac/Gamma-Rapho/Getty)

Shown here on March 3, 1989, in Paris, France, Hawking would have been 47 years old at the time.

Speak to Me

Stephen Hawking and Kate Caryer

(Image credit: PA Images/Getty)

On Oct. 3, 1993, Hawking met with Kate Caryer of the Vale School in North London at the "Speak to Me" exhibition, which he opened at the Science Museum.

Another marriage

Stephen Hawking and wife Elaine Mason

(Image credit: Tim Ockenden/PA Images/Getty)

In 1995, Hawking married Elaine Mason, shown here after their marriage ceremony at the Cambridge registry office. The couple divorced in 2006.

Royal Society award

Stephen Hawking, Duke of Edinburgh, Lucy Hawking

(Image credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Images/Getty)

The Duke of Edinburgh presents Hawking with the Royal Society for the Art Albert Medal during a ceremony at St James's Palace. His daughter, Lucy Hawking, looks on as her father is presented with the award for "making physics more accessible, understandable and exciting, and opening the subject to a wider audience through his books and television programs."

Kudos to Hawking

Stephen Hawking on XXV Prince of Asturias Awards Anniversary event

(Image credit: Miguel Riopa/AFP/Getty)

Hawking is seen on a TV monitor as he opens the XXV Prince of Asturias Awards Anniversary event in Oviedo, Spain, on April 12, 2005. Hawking won the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord in 1989.

South Korean writers

Stephen Hawking at Frankfurt Book Fair October 2005

(Image credit: Thomas Lohnes/AFP/Getty)

Hawking visits the stand of his German publisher Rowohlt at the Frankfurt Book Fair on Oct. 19, 2005. That year, the fair focused on authors from the Korean peninsula, with 60 writers showing up from South Korea. (No North Korean writers attended.)

Temple of Heaven

Stephen Hawking at The Temple of Heaven in 2006

(Image credit: China Photos/Getty)

Assistants carry Hawking during his visit to the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China, on June 18, 2006. The scientist was visiting Beijing for the 2006 International Conference on String Theory. The temple, which became a UNESCO Heritage site in 1998, "symbolizes the relationship between earth and heaven – the human world and God's world – which stands at the heart of Chinese cosmogony, and also the special role played by the emperors within that relationship," according to UNESCO.

Inspiring young minds

Stephen Hawking at Bloomfield Museum of Science in Jerusalem in 2006

(Image credit: Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty)

Hawking gives a lecture at the Bloomfield Museum of Science in Jerusalem on Dec. 10, 2006. According to Getty images, "Hawking filled the hall to capacity with young Israeli scientists."

Jeanna Bryner
Live Science Editor-in-Chief

Jeanna served as editor-in-chief of Live Science. Previously, she was an assistant editor at Scholastic's Science World magazine. Jeanna has an English degree from Salisbury University, a master's degree in biogeochemistry and environmental sciences from the University of Maryland, and a graduate science journalism degree from New York University. She has worked as a biologist in Florida, where she monitored wetlands and did field surveys for endangered species. She also received an ocean sciences journalism fellowship from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.