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A brief history of Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time

The late physicist’s editor, Peter Guzzardi, recalls his first meetings with Hawking and how his book became a bestseller

• Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

I first encountered Stephen Hawking on the cover of the New York Times magazine. Inside, its pages told a story we all know today, but at the time it was a revelation: a Cambridge astrophysicist sought to solve the great mysteries of the universe, while he himself was trapped in a wheelchair by a progressive neurogenerative disease. I remember being struck by writer Timothy Ferris’s description of Professor’s Hawking’s shoes, their soles pristine, having never touched the ground. I tucked the article in my knapsack, and a few days later I finished reading it on my way to lunch with a literary agent.

Related: Stephen Hawking: modern cosmology’s brightest star dies aged 76

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