Prof Hawking flew to the California's Institute of Technology in Feburary of this year, to visit a scholar. However, he hadn't been feeling well for a few weeks, and cancelled an appearance at the Arizona State University on 6 April. He flew back to the UK last Saturday, and was admitted into the Addenbrooke hospital on Monday.
I guess Prof Hawking doesn't require an introduction for most OSNews readers. The British theoretical physicist has made numerous contributions to the world of science, but what possibly made him such a known and popular figure is his belief that even laymen should have access to the world of science, even such inherently complicated fields as the ones he specialises in.
We hope Prof Hawking will recover soon, and that he will be able to continue his work and broaden mankind's understanding of the universe.