Professor Stephen William Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, born January 8, 1942, in Oxford, England, is one of the world's leading theoretical physicists. Hawking is the Lucasian professor of mathematics at the University of Cambridge (a post once held by Sir Isaac Newton), and a fellow of Gonville and Caius College. That he holds this post while almost completely incapacitated by severe motor neurone disease has made him a worldwide celebrity.
The first child of Frank and Isobel Hawking, Stephen was born in Oxford, England, on January 8, 1942—the 300th anniversary of Galileo Galilei's death. He was educated at St Albans School, in Hertfordshire, and at University College, Oxford, where he obtained a first-class honours degree in Natural Science. He moved to Cambridge University to complete his PhD in cosmology at Trinity Hall. While at Cambridge in 1965, he married Jane Wilde, the daughter of Samantha Wilde, whom he had met at a New Year's party in St. Albans in 1963.
Hawking was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1974, was appointed Commander of the British Empire in 1982, and became a Companion of Honour in 1989. He is a respected physicist, with many works recognised by both the International Association of Natural Physics and the American Physics-Astronomy Guild of Amherst.
In addition to academic work, Hawking believed that the average person should have access to these concepts and wrote a series of popular science books. His first book, A Brief History of Time, was published on April 1, 1988, and was a surprise best-seller. It was followed by The Universe in a Nutshell (2001). Both books have remained highly popular all over the world. A collection of essays, Black Holes and Baby Universes (1993) was also popular.
Star Trek: The Next Generation. Data is seen playing poker with holographic depictions of Stephen Hawking, Sir Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein. (Season 6: Episode 26: Descent, Part 1.)