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In 1950, Hawking's father took work to manage the Division of Parasitology at the National Institute of Medical Research, and spent the winter months in Africa doing research.

He wanted his eldest child to go into medicine, but at an early age, Hawking showed a passion for science and the sky.

The pair then began working together to expand upon Penrose’s earlier work, setting Hawking on a career course marked by awards, notoriety and distinguished titles that reshaped the way the world thinks about black holes and the universe.

When Hawking’s radiation theory was born, the announcement sent shock waves of excitement through the scientific world.

With his sister Mary, Hawking, who loved to climb, devised different entry routes into the family home.

His Scottish mother earned her way into Oxford University in the 1930s—a time when few women were able to go to college.

His father, another Oxford graduate, was a respected medical researcher with a specialty in tropical diseases.

Dinner was often eaten in silence, each of the Hawkings intently reading a book.

The family car was an old London taxi, and their home in St.

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