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Higher Ed in the News

Cambridge U. scientist Hawking hospitalized

April 21, 2009

Stephen Hawking was said to be in a "comfortable" condition Tuesday after spending the night in hospital, Cambridge University said in a statement.

Hawking -- a physicist, cosmologist, astronomer and mathematician -- is considered by many to be the greatest scientist of recent years. His numerous books include "A Brief History of Time," a global bestseller exploring the origins of the universe which also made him one of the world's best known scientists.

Hawking, 67, suffers from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. ALS is usually fatal within a few years, but Hawking has lived with the disease since he was diagnosed in 1963.

At Cambridge, he holds the position of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics -- one of the world's most prestigious academic posts which was held from 1669 to 1702 by Isaac Newton, who laid the foundations of modern physics by discovering the universal law of gravity.

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