Remembering Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking, whose brilliant mind ranged across time and space though his body was paralyzed by disease, died early Wednesday, a University of Cambridge spokesman said. He was 76 years old.

Hawking died peacefully at his home in Cambridge, England.

The best-known theoretical physicist of his time, Hawking wrote so lucidly of the mysteries of space, time and black holes that his book, “A Brief History of Time,” became an international best seller, making him one of science’s biggest celebrities since Albert Einstein.

Thousands are remembering Hawking on social media.

Even though his body was attacked by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, when Hawking was 21, he stunned doctors by living with the normally fatal illness for more than 50 years. A severe attack of pneumonia in 1985 left him breathing through a tube, forcing him to communicate through an electronic voice synthesizer that gave him his distinctive robotic monotone.

Despite his disease, he continued his scientific work, appeared on television and married for a second time.

Hawking established a foundation in 2015, The Stephen Hawking Foundation, dedicated to, ” facilitate research into Cosmology, Astrophysics and Fundamental Particle Physics both at school and university level. It will also facilitate and support work relating to Motor Neurone Disease (ALS)  and those living with the disease.”

Click here to donate to the foundation.

On a local level, the University of Pittsburgh has its own MDA-ALS center. Click here to donate to the ALS Clinic at Pitt, to help fund ALS research.

You can also donate to the Western PA Chapter of the ALS Association. Click here to donate.

The Pittsburgh Marathon also benefits the Western PA Chapter of the ALS association. Click here for more info.