There’s hardly a more lovable and a more exciting science popularizer on TV right now. Neil is one of those rare finds, one of those humans that you can’t help but be mesmerized by. And with the reboot of the amazing TV-show Cosmos, he has solidified his legacy as one of the smartest and easiest to follow astrophysicists of today. And to discover this mysterious character, we have compiled a list of interesting facts that you might not know about his life and career.

He is known mostly for his TV appearances and for the fact that he became an Internet meme that has swiped the Internet. However, fewer and fewer people know that he is the head of the Hayden Planetarium. Not only that, but he is also an associate of the American Museum of Natural History, where he contributes to research at the Astrophysics department. He is one of the few ones that seem to have time to do it all, and to do it well at the same time.

Neil was born in Manhattan, where he has a modest upbringing. His mother was a gerontologist and his father a sociologist, so it’s not hard to see where he got his analytical abilities from. Ever since a young age, he was interested in astrophysics, but also in sports like wrestling and football. This duality is not common among the intellectual elite, and it is not a wonder why he described himself as a “nerd who could kick ass.

And his passion for space didn’t go unnoticed. He was invited for an undergraduate program by Dr. Carl Sagan himself, one of the most amazing humans that have ever lived, and also the guy who also sparked the interest in space in so many young minds with the original Cosmos. But despite that honor, he chose to go to Harvard, where he got a major in Physics. At the same time, he also took time to pursue his other passion, as he was often seen rowing, dancing, and even wrestling.

Regarding his career, he focused on stellar evolution and cosmology, and he is even cited as the 18th author on a paper that later won the Nobel Prize. He wrote many popular books which have brought the public closer to the science of space, and for his advances in theoretical physics and his work with the American Government, he was awarded by NASA the Distinguished Public Service Medal.

One of today’s most respected scientist, Neil deGrasse Tyson is one to watch for now that the second season of Cosmos is in the works. His voice is not impossible not to recognize, and his knowledge and research made sure that he gets to stand in the hall of fame of the humans that propelled our species into the future.