Stephen Hawking Stephen Hawking was born in Oxford, England, on January 8, 1942, (exactly 300 years after the death of Galileo). His parents were Frank and Isobel Hawking. He had two younger sisters, Philippa and Mary, and an adoptive brother, Edward. Of his family, Hawking was closest to his mother, who was active in left-wing politics. She later said that around the time of his birth she bought an astronomical atlas from Blackwell's in Oxford, which her sister-in-law later remarked to have been a rather prophetic purchase.
Hawking showed great talent in mathematics and physics at an early age. When he was eleven he went to St Albans School in Hertfordshire, near London. He then progressed on to University College, Oxford, where he wanted to study mathematics. When mathematics wasn't available for him to study, he studied physics instead. Initially, his father wanted him to study medicine. He read for his Ph.D. at Trinity Hall, where he is currently an honorary fellow.
Hawking was elected as one of the youngest fellows of the Royal Society in 1974, was created a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1982, and became a Companion of Honour in 1989. He is a respected physicist, with many works recognised by both the International Association of Natural Physics and the American Physics-Astronomy Guild of Amherst.