Mathematician and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, 67, has been rushed to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, England with a serious chest infection. The Lucasian Professor of Mathematics - a post once held by Sir Isaac Newton - has suffered from Amyotrophic Lateral Schlerosis [ALS] since the age of 21, and is almost completely paralyzed.
Best known for his work in the fields of cosmology and quantum gravity, he and Roger Penrose developed what are known as the "Singularity Theorems" describing the properties of black holes. His popular books and public appearances have made him a scientific celebrity. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1974, one of the youngest scientists ever to receive this honor. In 1982 he was named Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and is a member of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
With a life expectancy of just 3 years at diagnosis of ALS, Hawking has managed to beat the odds and enjoy a 40-year career of being counted among the world's most brilliant humans. He has been married and divorced twice, has three children and a grandchild with his first wife Jane Wilde Hawking.