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Stephen Hawking

Attends Oxford

Sep 1959
Hawking drinking wine while at Oxford

Hawking attends Oxford University, his father’s old college, at the age of 17. Despite feeling that he had performed badly, he is awarded a First Class degree after specializing in physics and natural sciences.

The prevailing attitude at Oxford at that time was very anti-work. You were supposed to be brilliant without effort, or accept your limitations and get a fourth-class degree. To work hard to get a better class of degree was regarded as the mark of a grey man – the worst epithet in the Oxford vocabulary.