Renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking died on March 14, 2018, at age 76. He fascinated astrophysicists with his otherworldly theories. But he also blew the minds of medical experts by living with ALS for 55 years.
Most patients with ALS are diagnosed after the age of 50 and die within five years of their diagnosis. Hawking's condition was first diagnosed when he was 21, and he was not expected to see his 25th birthday.
No one’s quite sure what makes Hawking different from the rest. Even Hawking himself is circumspect when it comes to an accomplishment that rivals his academic triumphs. “Maybe my variety [of ALS] is due to bad absorption of vitamins,” he said.
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