Stephen Hawking

Today, on the anniversary of Einstein's birthday, we mourn another bright star of the scientific and mathematical world. Even though he was given a death sentence at the age of 23 because of his early-onset ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), he defied odds and lived until he became 76. This was not the only area he defied odds in: Hawking was instrumental in the work on gravitational singularity theorems, general relativity, and the prediction that black holes emit radiation (often called Hawking radiation). In addition to this, he was also the author of the incredibly popular A Brief History of Time.