A very interesting and brilliant person. I knew he had Motor Neurone Disease but I didn't realise that he was diagnosed 55 years ago. I have known three people with MND and none of them lived more than five years after diagnosis. Was he lucky? I don't know if I would have been able to live my life like that but he certainly made the best of the situation. R.I.P.
"A shining example of what a disabled person can achieve."
Yes, but bear in mind that his brain wasn't affected by his illness, so in terms of intellect he almost certainly achieved what we would have done, had he remained able-bodied.
Stephen's form of MND was a rare and particularly nasty early onset, slow progress disease, and he confounded the experts who only gave him two years to live when he was first diagnosed aged only 21. From that point on he increasingly missed out what the rest of us take for granted, like talking normally, and being able to move around at will - as do all MND disease sufferers.
It's little wonder that Stephen became severely depressed. he battled against it however, and two years ago he alluded to it when he told a lecture audience “Things can get out of a black hole both on the outside and possibly to another universe. So if you feel you are in a black hole, don't give up – there's a way out.”
The world of theoretical physics has lost a true genius.