Sheldon Lee Cooper, B.S., M.S., M.A., Ph.D., Sc.D. (born 1980) is a fictional character on the CBS television series The Big Bang Theory, portrayed by actor Jim Parsons. Parsons has won two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe for his role.
Sheldon is a Caltech theoretical physicist who shares an apartment with his colleague and best friend, Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki). They live across the hallway from a highly sociable waitress named Penny (Kaley Cuoco), whom Sheldon clashes with due to her "free-loading" and un-organized lifestyle, even though he identifies her as one of his friends despite her lack of scientific education. Sheldon exhibits a strict adherence to routine, a total lack of social skills, a tenuous understanding of irony, sarcasm, and humor, and a general lack of humility or empathy. He is vocal about his own superior intellect compared to those around him. These characteristics provide the bulk of his character's humor and the center of some episodes. He has been described as the show's breakout character. Reviewers and fans have speculated that Sheldon's personality traits are consistent with a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome and/or obsessive–compulsive personality disorder and asexuality; although this has been repeatedly denied by the co-creator Bill Prady.
Beginning with the season five episode The Flaming Spittoon Acquisition, Sheldon began dating Amy Farrah Fowler in a platonic relationship.
Originally from Galveston, Texas, he was raised by his father (George Cooper, Sr.) and his mother (Mary Cooper) along with an older brother (George Cooper, Jr.) and a twin sister (Missy Cooper). His mother is a devout Evangelical Christian and she raised Sheldon according to her beliefs, for example enrolling him in a Christian youth bowling league and teaching him how to pray. He was taunted and bullied by the neighborhood children and his classmates, because, he claims, they were threatened by his intelligence. (When he was five, Billy Sparks shoved a Mexican Peso up his nose, which has not been removed. It takes Sheldon 45 minutes to get through airport security because of it.) Sheldon was a child prodigy, as evidenced by his many extraordinary accomplishments while still a child: he built a poorly-working CAT scanner that incinerated his sister's guinea pig, called Snowballa a so-called "Sonic Death Ray", and an armed robot constructed using integrated circuits made from materials cooked in his sister's Easy Bake Oven, which he modified, and which burnt her eyebrows off. Sheldon entered the University of Texas at Austin, at the age of eleven, right after completing the fifth grade. When Sheldon was twelve years old, he wanted a titanium centrifuge to separate radioactive isotopes Around this time, he dabbled in lasers (eventually getting him sent to boarding school). According to his mother, he also tried to build a nuclear reactor at the age of thirteen in order to provide free electricity for his town; however, this was halted after a government agent informed him that it was illegal to store yellowcake uranium (which he wanted to buy on the Internet) in a shed. At age fourteen, he graduated from college magna cum laude, began doctoral work, and was the youngest person at the time to receive the Stevenson Award when he was "14 and a half". Sheldon worked as a visiting professor at Heidelberg University in Germany at age fifteen, and received his first Ph.D. at sixteen years old, working on twistor theory. He then spent four years on his second dissertation, and at the beginning of the series had held his current job for three-and-a-half years.