Weirdly Interesting 22 Things You Didn't Know About Stephen Hawking  

Katherine Ripley
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Stephen Hawking is one of the most brilliant minds in astrophysics. Everyone knows his name, but much of his biography is still not well-known.

This list of Stephen Hawking facts will make you realize Stephen Hawking is not only brilliant, but funny and self-aware. By the time you finish reading it, you'll be even more amazed by both his mental and physical accomplishments.


He Was Born on the 300th Anniversary of Galileo's Death


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Photo:  Fondo Antiguo de la Universidad de Sevilla/via Flickr
Stephen Hawking's birthday is January 8, 1944. That's exactly 300 years after Galileo's death. It's a delightful coincidence, given that Galileo was a revolutionary astronomer in his own time, and Stephen Hawking would go on to be a revolutionary astrophysicist.

Both of His Parents Went to Oxford


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Photo: Fernando GarcĂ­a/flickr/CC-BY-NC 2.0
It's not terribly surprising that brilliant parents gave birth to a brilliant child. Stephen Hawking's father, Frank, studied medicine at Oxford, and his mother, Isobel, studied philosophy, politics, and economics.

He Got Mediocre Grades in School


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Photo:  ajari/via Wikimedia Commons
When Stephen was growing up, his grades were never above average. This was not because of a lack of intelligence, but rather a lack of effort. He devoted his time to other things, like taking apart radios to see how they worked.

His Teachers Nicknamed Him "Einstein"


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Photo: Kirill Afonin/flickr/CC-BY-NC 2.0
Despite his mediocre grades, Stephen's teachers and peers knew that he was incredibly smart. As a teenager, he and his friends built a computer from scratch. His teachers, in a somewhat prophetic way, nicknamed him Einstein.