Stephen Hawking died on Einstein's birthday because everything in the cosmos is connected

Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein, two geniuses forever connected.

Image: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize Foundation

As the world reels from the death of Stephen Hawking, one of the great science minds in all of history, admirers are taking some solace in a few coincidences surrounding Hawking’s birthday and the date of his passing.

It’s long been known that Hawking’s birthday, January 8, 1942, fell on the 300th anniversary of the death of another great science mind, Galileo Galilei. 

But the day of his death, in the early hours of March 14, 2018 at his home in Cambridge, England, happened to coincide with the birthday of yet another genius: Albert Einstein, born March 14, 1879.

One more note: March 14 is also Pi Day — 3/14, 3.14, get it? — a math-related holiday (not to be confused with, say, Pie Day). Equating Hawking with what may seem like a silly “holiday” based on a numerical coincidence may seem superfluous and like its minimizing Hawking’s genius and accomplishments. 

But Hawking had a sense of humor about things (anyone who’s seen his cameos on The Simpsons know this) and connecting Hawking to a day about math is hardly the worst way to remember him. 

Of course, Hawking’s genius, as well as Einstein’s and Galileo’s, are greatness that far exceeds such happenstance. 

But that these three great minds somehow, no matter how tangentially, are connected by anything is a pretty good argument for the existence of cosmic thread that binds everything together. And in a time of chaos, there’s oddly something comfortable about that. 

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