16. Stephen Hawking
At the age of 21, as he was studying cosmology at the University of Cambridge, Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In spite of this, the British theoretical physicist proceeded to uphold a revolutionary scientific career spanning over four decades. Out of the 15 books he wrote, most notable are his A Brief History of Time, The Universe in a Nutshell, and A Briefer History of Time. Combined, all three books present Hawking’s theory of how the universe began.