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Google honors physicist Stephen Hawking with new Doodle

Google honors physicist Stephen Hawking with new Doodle
Google honored late physicist Stephen Hawking on Saturday with a Doodle. Image courtesy of Google

Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Google celebrated what would have been physicist, cosmologist and author Stephen Hawking's 80th birthday Saturday with a new Doodle.

Hawking was born on this day in Oxford, England, in 1942. He died at the age of 76 in 2018.

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Google's homepage features an image of Hawking in his trademark wheelchair with a background of a galaxy spinning in space. Clicking on the graphic brings up an animated video depicting scenes from Hawking's life.

Artist Matthew Cruickshank created the Doodle.

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"Today's video Doodle celebrates one of history's most influential scientific minds, English cosmologist, author, and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking," Google said.

"From colliding black holes to the Big Bang, his theories on the origins and mechanics of the universe revolutionized modern physics while his bestselling books made the field widely accessible to millions of readers worldwide."

Hawking was known for his work as a theoretical physicist in which he studied the universe and black holes.

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His expertise in astrophysics rose to fame in 1988 with the publication of his book, A Brief History of Time. The book became an international bestseller, selling more than 10 million copies in 35 languages.

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Hawking was one of the rare scientists who rose to pop star fame, giving numerous televised interviews and even appearing in The Simpsons, Futurama and The Big Bang Theory.

He also became an advocate for disability issues after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral disease -- more commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease -- in 1962. The disease gradually paralyzed him over decades and he was dependent upon a wheelchair for mobility and a computer to speak and write.

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Hawking was the subject of the 2014 biopic The Theory of Everything starring Eddie Redmayne as the physicist and Felicity Jones as his former wife, Jane Hawking. Redmayne won the Oscar, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and British Academy Film awards for Best Actor for the role.

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