Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, England. His birthday was also the 300th anniversary of the death of Galileo - long a source of pride for the noted physicist. His father, Frank Hawking, came from a family of tenant farmers in Yorkshire who suffered hard times during the agricultural depression at the beginning of the twentieth century. Although financially stretched, the family was able to send Frank to Oxford, where he studied medicine. His research expertise was in tropical medicine, which involved regular field trips to East Africa. At the beginning of the Second World War, despite volunteering for military service, the authorities judged that it would be best if Frank continued his medical research during the war years. Stephen's mother, Isobel Walker, was born in Dunfermline in Scotland, but the family moved to Devon when she was 12. Isobel gained entrance to the University of Oxford, where she studied economics, politics, and philosophy. She then worked for the Inland Revenue, but this proved not to be to her taste and she subsequently became a school teacher. She was a free-thinking radical and a strong influence on her son.