Stephen William Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, England. He is an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge. He has done groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology, and his several books have helped to make science accessible to everyone. Stephen Hawking is known for his work regarding black holes and has made major contributions to the field of general relativity. Other important work by Hawking relates to the interpretation of cosmological observations and to the design of gravitational wave detectors.