Stephen Hawking to receive Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama

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London, July 31 (ANI): Stephen Hawking, Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, is among the 16 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

US President Barack Obama announced yesterday the complete list and said that it showed "an incredible diversity of backgrounds" but added: "Each has been an agent of change. Each saw an imperfect world and set about improving it, often overcoming great obstacles along the way."

Professor Hawking's book A Brief History of Time remained a bestseller for a record 237 weeks, reports The Times.

The 67-year-old, who has a neuromuscular dystrophy that has left him almost totally paralysed, is expected to travel to Washington to receive the award.

Other recipients include Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland, Sidney Poitier, the actor, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, and Billie Jean King, the tennis player. (ANI)

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