A brief history of Stephen Hawking's remarkable life

World-renowned physicist Professor Stephen Hawking's death at the age of 76 ends one of the most remarkable lives in science.

At 22 he was given only a few years to live following his diagnosis with a rare form of motor neurone disease that left him wheelchair bound and speaking through a voice synthesiser.

But he went on to achieve groundbreaking work with black holes and relativity then educate millions to great acclaim and many awards.

Though the A Brief History of Time author famously declined a knighthood in protest at science funding.

Here's a brief history of one of Britain's most celebrated thinkers:

  • January 8 1942 - Born at Oxford, England

  • 1952-1959 - Educated at St Albans School

  • 1959-1962 - Scholar in Natural Science at University College, Oxford

Professor Hawking was known for his groundbreaking work with black holes and relativity. Credit: PA
  • 1962 - Final Honour School in Natural Science, Physics, First Class

  • 1965 - Became research Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge

  • 1966 - Won Cambridge University's prestigious Adams Prize for Essay Singularities and the Geometry of Space-time

  • 1969 - Became fellow for Distinction in Science, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge

Professor Hawking educated millions with his theories of black holes and the Big Bang. Credit: PA
  • 1972 - Became a research assistant in the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge

  • 1974 - Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society

  • 1977 - Appointed professor of Gravitational Physics, University of Cambridge

  • 1977 - Made honorary Fellow, University College, Oxford

  • 1978 - Awarded honorary Doctorate of Science, University of Oxford

A Brief History of Time was released to great acclaim and enormous sales in 1988. Credit: PA
  • 1979 - Awarded the Albert Einstein Medal, Berne, Switzerland

  • 1979 - Published General Relativity: An Einstein Centenary Survey (edited with W Israel), Cambridge University Press

  • 1982 - Made Commander of the British Empire (CBE)

  • 1982 - Honorary Doctor of Science at Notre Dame University, Princeton University, New York University and Leicester University

  • 1988 - Publishes A Brief History Of Time

Stephen Hawking married nurse Elaine Mason in 1995. Credit: PA
  • 1989 - Made Companion of Honour (CH)

  • 2006 - Awarded the Copley Medal, the Royal Society's oldest and most prestigious award

  • 2009 - Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

Professor Stephen Hawking educated Pope Francis at the Vatican in 2016 on his theory of the beginnings of the universe. Credit: PA
  • 2012 - Appeared at the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony, London

  • 2017 - Honorary Freedom of the City of London