Stephen Hawking was only expected to live a few years after being diagnosed with ALS at age 21 — here’s what the disease is

Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) when he was 21. Doctors didn’t expect him to live very long, but he ended up making it to the age of 76. The neuromuscular disease, which usually develops in older adults, progressively destroys nerve cells and inhibits muscle control.

British physicist Stephen Hawking, who wrote the classic “A Brief History of Time” and transformed our understanding of the cosmos and black holes, died Wednesday at the

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