How Has Stephen Hawking Lived So Long With ALS?

Wendy Henderson avatar

by Wendy Henderson |

Share this article:

Share article via email

Stephen Hawking is, without a doubt, the most famous person with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He’s so incredibly famous for two main reasons: firstly, he’s a brilliant scientist. He’s changed the world’s understanding of space, made history with his papers on the Big Bang Theory and wrote a bestselling book A Brief History of Time.

Find out more about Stephen Hawking and the documentary he made about his life.

The second reason Hawking is so famous is that he has managed to live with his ALS for so long. According to the ALS Association, most ALS patients only live for only three to five years after diagnosis, and just 10 percent live for 10 years after diagnosis. Hawking was diagnosed in 1963 at just 21 years old. Today, Hawking is 75 years old and although he has lost most of the muscle control in his body, he is still functioning quite well.

This video from DNews shares a little more about Hawking’s personal history and discusses some theories on how he has managed to live with ALS for so long. It explains that Hawking is still able to breathe and swallow, but can only communicate via a cheek muscle which he uses to control a computerized voice machine.

Hawking shows no signs of slowing down or even retiring and is still very active in the field of quantum physics. He will always be a true inspiration for anyone suffering from a disability and especially for those who have ALS.

Find out more about ALS in Stephen Hawking’s own words.

ALS News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.