Stephen Hawking dead: Remembering the physicist and LGBT campaigner’s most inspirational quotes

Adam Bloodworth March 14, 2018
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BOMBAY, INDIA: World-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking answers questions with the help of a voice synthesiser during a press conference at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Bombay, 06 January 2001. Hawking, along with over 300 physicists from across the world, will be attending a conference in String Theory called "String 2001". (FILM) AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)


They said he’d wouldn’t outlive his twenties, but world-renowned physicist and LGBT pioneer Stephen Hawking but he proved them wrong.

It was announced on March 14, 2018 that Stephen Hawking had passed away aged 76.

Alongside his ground-breaking scientific research, which applied new ideas to the theories of general relativity and black holes, Stephen Hawking was a passionate campaigner for LGBT equality.

He suffered from debilitating Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a rare form of motor neurone disease, throughout his life which gradually paralysed him – but all the while Hawking continued to research and teach at Cambridge University.


399485 04: Physicist Stephen Hawking smiles at a symposium to honor his birthday at the Center for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge January 11, 2002 in Cambridge, England. Hawking turned 60-years-old on January 8, 2002 and is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a post once held by Sir Isaac Newton. (Photo by Sion Touhig/Getty Images)

As well as his scientific expertise Hawking had a keen sense of humour, and made numerous TV appearances. The scientist will live on through his bizarre, light-hearted guest spots on The Simpsons, Futurama and Big Bang Theory.

Here are some of the most inspirational things he said.

“We are all different, but we share the same human spirit”


LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 29: Queen Elizabeth II meets Professor Stephen Hawking (R) during a reception for Leonard Cheshire Disability in the State Rooms, St James's Palace on May 29, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Jonathan Brady - Pool / Getty Images)

“My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit as well as physically.”



CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 7: Microsoft President Bill Gates meets Professor Stephen Hawking on a visit to Cambridge University Tuesday October 7, 1997. Microsoft recently announced funding of 50 Million pounds (80 million dlrs US) for a research centre to be based in Cambridge and Bill Gates followed this up with a personal gift of 12 million (19.2 million dlrs US) to the University. (AP Photo/Findlay Kember/Pool) (Photo credit should read FINDLAY KEMBER/AFP/Getty Images)
Hawking with Bill Gates (Getty)

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.”


LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 08: Eddie Redmayne and Professor Stephen Hawking attend the after party for the EE British Academy Film Awards at The Grosvenor House Hotel on February 8, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

“It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.”


WASHINGTON, : US President Bill Clinton (L) and Professor Stephen Hawking -- in person and on screen -- watch a scene from "Star Trek the Next Generation", during a "Millennium Evening" at the White House 06 March in Washington DC. Theoretical physicist Hawking talked about the future of science during the live telecast with the Clintons. AFP PHOTO Tim SLOAN (Photo credit should read TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Hawking and Clinton (Getty)

“I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first.”


(Getty Images)

“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.”


(Getty Images)

“Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.”

In 2012, Hawking called on the government to pardon gay war hero Alan Turing, who was convicted of ‘gross indecency’ in 1952 after having sex with a man.

Turing was chemically castrated, barred from working for GCHQ, and died by suicide at 41.

In an open letter, Hawking called Turing “one of the most brilliant mathematicians of the modern era” and urged then-Prime Minister David Cameron to “forgive this British hero, to whom we owe so much as a nation, and whose pioneering contribution to computer sciences remains relevant even today”.

(AFP/Getty Images)

A year later, the Queen granted Turing a posthumous pardon.

And last year, the British Government issued a pardon for men convicted of having sex with other men.

Hawking’s book A Brief History of Time is the most successful Sunday Times best-seller of all time, holding top spot for more than five years.

His work with black holes and relativity was revolutionary, and his life was turned into the Oscar-winning film The Theory of Everything, starring Eddie Redmayne.

Stephen Hawking was born in Oxford in 1942 and died peacefully at his home in Cambridge.

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