From the White House newsletter: Stephen Hawking, 71-year-old survivor of a formerly fatal and now crippling disease, receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom:
Happy birthday, indeed. The physicist hailed as Einstein's heir published A Brief History of Time in 1988; at the time it seemed a medical miracle that he was alive, though wheelchair-bound, to see his book in print. Awesome.
(Fair disclosure: I read a lot of things that are beyond my level of formal education, slowly, learning as I go, but A Brief History of Time is one book that's been given to me that I've not been able to understand. All I know is, he moved the useful concept of a fourth dimension of space from the category of Science Fiction to the category of Fantasy.)