Stephen Hawking is the Dennis Stanton Avery and Sally Tsui Wong-Avery Director of Research at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, and Founder of the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge. Along with A Brief History of Time, his books for the general reader include A Briefer History of Time, the essay collection Black Holes and Baby Universe, and The Universe in a Nutshell.
In 1963, Hawking contracted motor neuron disease and was given two years to live. Yet he went on to Cambridge to become a brilliant researcher and Professorial Fellow at Gonville and Caius College. From 1979 to 2009 he held the post of Lucasian Professor at Cambridge, the chair held by Isaac Newton. A fellow of the Royal Society and a Member of the US National Academy of Science, Hawking is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein. He continues to combine family life with research, along with an extensive program of travel and public lectures. He still hopes to make it into space one day.