A Brief History of Time broke all sales records for books in a way that would have been difficult to predict. By May 1995 it had been in The Sunday Times best-sellers list for 237 weeks, breaking the previous record of 184 weeks, selling 10 million copies in ten years. This deed was recorded in the 1998 Guinness Book of Records. He was diagnosed with ALS a form of Motor Neurone Disease, shortly after his 21st Birthday. In spite of being wheelchair bound and dependent on a computerised voice system for communication he still manages to combine a family life (he has three children and three grandchildren) and his continued research into theoretical physics, together with an extensive programme of travel and public lectures. He also still hopes to travel into space one day! Stephen Hawking was born on 8th January 1942 (exactly 300 years after the death of Galileo) in Oxford, England. The son of a research biologist and a medical research secretary, his upbringing gave him a strong curiosity about the universe. He was drawn to physics and mathematics as the sciences that offer the most fundamental insights into the world. He studied natural sciences at Oxford University, where he was awarded a first, and then moved to Cambridge to begin a PhD in cosmology. Professor Hawking has received a dozen honorary degrees and has received numerous awards, medals and decorations, including the Order of the British Empire (1982), The Prince of Asturias Award for Concord (1989) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009), the highest civilian award in the United States. He is also a member of the Royal Society and the National Academy of Science. In 1979 he accepted the post of Lucasion Chair of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, a post once held by Isaac Newton. Stephen Hawking’s voice was used in the song “Keep Talking” on Pink Floyd’s last album “The Division Bell”.