Happy Birthday, Professor Hawking!
73 years young today.
I have been a fan of yours for many years. I read the Brief History of Time, then The Illustrated Brief History of Time. I did OK in science and physics in school, but I was absolutely amazed at the simplicity and clarity of how you explained things. I finally understood. Then, I read it again.
I gave The Illustrated Brief History of Time to my father as a gift. I read The Universe in a Nutshell, then The Theory of Everything, then A Briefer History of Time, and finally The Grand Design. With each book I have felt more enlightened, and my respect for you–and your contributions to science and to the world–has grown.
Over the recent holidays my wife created an advent calendar based on random acts of kindness. One of the random acts my children and I did was to take a book we like, and just leave it somewhere for someone else to find and enjoy. I chose to share The Universe in a Nutshell because I believe that sharing your writing is a tremendous gift…but I didn’t want to give up my copy of The Illustrated Brief History of Time. 🙂
I will always love The Illustrated Brief History of Time, but I think the Grand Design is a masterpiece. It explains so much, so clearly and eloquently.
I had tickets to see you here in Houston in 2013 along with two of my older sons. Unfortunately, you were unable to make the trip, and we were disappointed. I would consider it one of the greatest honors of my life to meet you in person.
When I first saw the trailer for the movie The Theory of Everything, I could not contain my excitement. My wife and I went to see the movie the first night it was available, and I loved it. I recommend that everyone see it. It does a phenomenal job–at least in my humble opinion–at showing the human being behind the rock star scientist.
I haven’t read Jane’s book, but after seeing the movie I bought your biography–My Brief History. I devoured it. I read it so fast that I thought I surely must have skipped a chapter or two somewhere, and I had to leaf back through the whole thing to verify that I’d actually read it all.
I am a fan. More importantly, though, I am eternally grateful. I can’t thank you enough for all of your contributions to science, and to the world–or for all of the ways you’ve changed my world.
Happy Birthday, Stephen Hawking!