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Newsmaker: Stephen Hawking

Physicist Stephen Hawking, Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge University, England, has received an award from Ohio's Case Western Reserve University that recognizes scientific achievement and contributions to the advancement of knowledge.

Physicist Stephen Hawking, Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge University, England, has received an award from Ohio's Case Western Reserve University that recognizes scientific achievement and contributions to the advancement of knowledge.

Early years: Hawking was born Jan. 8, 1942, in Oxford, England. At 11 years old Hawking went to St Albans School, and then to University College, Oxford. Hawking received an honors degree in natural science and then went to Cambridge to do research in cosmology.

Career: After gaining his doctorate, Hawking became first a research fellow, and later a professorial fellow at Gonville and Caius College. Since 1979, he has held the post of Lucasian professor of mathematics. Hawking has worked on the basic laws that govern the universe, and is best known for "Hawking's radiation," the theory that black holes emit radiation.

Hawking's publications include: "General Relativity: An Einstein Centenary Survey" with W Israel and "300 Years of Gravity" with W Israel. Hawking has three popular books published: his best seller "A Brief History of Time," "Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays" and "The Universe in a Nutshell."

Hawking has 12 honorary degrees. He is a fellow of The Royal Society and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

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Personal: Hawking was diagnosed at age 22 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. He and his wife, Jane, have three grown children. Hawking, who at 22 thought he had only a few years to live, is a grandfather.

In his words: "Why do we remember the past, but not the future?"

Web link: www.hawking.org.uk/home/hindex.html

Compiled by Carol Bradley Bursack

Sources: Associated Press, Hawking.org.uk, Stevesbluesand.com

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