Thoughts on the Passing of Dr. Stephen Hawking

It is with a sense of disbelief that we learned this evening of the passing of Dr. Stephen Hawking. Dr. Hawking is far and away the world’s most brilliant scientist of the last 100 years. His accomplishments are made all the more remarkable when one considers the unique challenges he has faced throughout much of his life.

Decades ago, Stephen Hawking was given no more than two years to live. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Dr. Hawking was his resilience.

Even if you have no interest in the cosmos, or science, or anything remotely close to it, one must admire the kind of fortitude, the kind of drive Stephen Hawking had to keep on going, to keep teaching, to doing what he loved.

I know little of black holes. But I know mental fortitude and the desire to keep going in the face of immeasurable challenges. If not for his work, one must respect his resilience. He said so himself, that he was more happy in life after learning of his debilitating illness than he was at any point before it.

By all accounts, Dr. Hawking loved to debate anything and everything at the dinner table. We know that there was no topic, no question that was off limits. Not only did he develop theories that define much of what we know about the universe today, but he loved sharing all that he knew to anyone who was interested. He has achieved unrivalled success and excellence in his field despite living a life that has seen more than his fair share of challenges. It is in this spirit that we issue this statement.

The scientific community, the world, indeed the universe owed Dr. Hawking a debt of gratitude. We also owe a debt to his family, whom have so generously shared him with the rest of us. He made the world smile, he made the world smarter, he made the world better.