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Did Stephen Hawking Like His Undergraduate Studies?

Stephen Hawking, most known for his contributions in the field of science, is known to be one of the most intelligent people in history. As a student, he initially suffered from low ranks at St. Albans School; when he reached the University of Oxford, his excellence showed itself when he graduated with honors, regardless of the little time he spent studying. 

Entering a Cosmology program at the University of Oxford, Stephen Hawking felt that his college work was easy, eventually graduating with honors even though he dedicated little time to study. 

The Early Life of Stephen Hawking

Born on the 300th death anniversary of the admirable physicist Galileo Galilei on January 8, 1942, Stephen Hawking emerged into a family of intellectuals. Frank and Isobel Hawking had four children, with Stephen Hawking as the eldest siblings.

Both Stephen Hawking’s parents were Oxford Graduates. Isobel Hawking righteously attained her education at Oxford University during the 1930s, when formally educated women weren’t a common sight. Alike Stephen’s mother, Frank Hawking also attended Oxford University, majoring in tropical diseases as a medical researcher.

Deeming Oxford a safer place away from the German bombs dropped in London during World War II, Isobel and Frank transferred there in an attempt to keep their family away from harm. The couple continued to have two other children named Mary and Philippa, adopting their fourth child Edward in 1956.

The Hawking Family, according to a close friend, was odd. Silence filled the room during their dinners as each member remained immersed in a book. They used an old London taxi as their family car, and they hardly cared about their home’s maintenance, containing bees in their basement and lighting fireworks in their greenhouse.

When Stephen Hawking entered St. Albans School in his first year, he was not recognized as a bright student as he had low ranks in his class, prioritizing activities outside school like playing board games and producing new games with his peers.

Hawking continued his academic life at the University of Oxford, entering the educational institution at 17 years old. Although he initially planned on studying a mathematics course, Oxford didn’t offer his desired program, leading Hawking to pursue cosmology.

During his undergraduate studies, Hawking recalled that he barely focused on his subjects as he calculated that he only devoted an hour per day for school. He found his college academics incredibly easy, graduating with honors in 1962. He then continued to strive for his Ph.D. in cosmology at the University of Cambridge. (Source: Biography

Stephen Hawking’s Legacy

During Stephen’s pursuance of a Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, doctors diagnosed him with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The doctors continued to explain that he only had a few years left to live. (Source: Ducksters

Although that initially led him to dwell in a depressive state, his diagnosis didn’t serve as a barrier for him for long. He soon found a reason to continue to live within his work and in his newly formed romantic relationship with Jane, his wife.


Stephen established his legacy through his theories and notable works, co-writing 15 books, including the esteemed A Brief History of Time, The Universe in a Nutshell, A Briefer History of Time, and The Grand Design. (Source: Biography)

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