The great world-renowned physicist must have been a known figure for you, but you might not know a lot of interesting facts about him even after knowing about the influential academic work he has done and his remarkable achievements. Stephen Hawking surely made the complex world of physics quite simpler for the public, while his own paralytic body probably made the life a little more complex for him. Let’s see some surprising facts about his life story.
- Not the ‘A’ grade student: If you thought that such an able physicist would be an A-grader at school, then that is exactly the opposite about Stephen Hawking. Around the age of 9 years, his grades ranked among the poorest in his class. There was a slow improvement that he later brought about in his scores, but just to reach an average level.
- Zero-gravity flight: As a 65-year old man in 2007, Hawking experienced zero gravity and went out of his wheelchair for the first time during this flight. He could also perform some gymnastic flips. Guess who made it happen for him – the billionaire entrepreneur, Richard Branson! Richard covered all the costs of his zero-gravity flight.
- Discouragement from Pope: Hawking revealed in a 20076 conference that Pope John Paul II used to discourage him from studying the universe is beginning, because Pope believed this origin to be God’s work that should not be dared to explore.
- Story behind Hawking’s voice: The physicist is English but speaks in an American accent. Do you know how? He has a computerized voice synthesizer that supports him do that. Even after being old, fragile and bulky equipment, this synthesizer is not letting Hawking leave it for another machine. He does not even consider a replacement as he thinks that his wife could divorce him if he did that. In fact, this voice box has given him a singing opportunity on the birthday of Carl Sagan.
- TV appearances: Hawking can boast of several television appearances. He was seen on Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Simpsons, and Futurama.
- Rowing team member: At Oxford, Hawking overcame his loneliness and unhappiness by being a part of the rowing team. As he did not have an athletic built, he was placed at the coxswains position as the one controlling stroke and steering rate. He made a good reputation from this sport and some boatmen addressed him as the adventurous type.