Stephen Hawking is a professor of mathematics, a theoretical physicist and an author. He is considered by many to be the most intelligent human being alive, as of 2015.
Hawking currently serves as the Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge. He is most famous for his work determining the physics of black holes, including the prediction that they can emit radiation. He has authored seven college physics textbooks, eight nonfiction books for the general public and three science fiction titles for children.
Hawking is affected by an extremely rare, slow-progressing form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS. When first diagnosed in 1963, his doctors told him that he only had two years left to live.