Stephen Hawking's thesis and wheelchair sell for $1 million


The motorised chair, used by the physicist after he was paralysed with motor neuron disease, sold for £296 750 in a Christie's online auction. It had been expected to fetch £10,000 to £15,000.

A collection of his medals and awards, including honours from the Royal Astronomical Society, sold for £296,750, with the entire collection achieving £1,384,625.

In addition to Hawking's personal documents and items, an original production script for Stephen Hawking's final appearance on The Simpsons-in which he was portrayed as a disc jockey with gold chains and a Kangol hat-also sold 6,250 pounds ($8,157).

Christie's said before the nine-day online auction that the items represented the "ultimate triumph of scientific brilliance over adversity" and "Stephen Hawking was a huge personality worldwide".

In addition to chairs were sold dissertation Hawking in 1965, "properties of expanding Universes".

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The scientist at the University of Cambridge died on March 14 at 76 years of age after suffering a neurological disease that kept him prostrate to a wheelchair for more than 50 years.

The second most expensive item in the collection is the beloved physicist's former wheelchair, which raised $390,000. It featured pieces belonging to other celebrated thinkers including Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin.

The auction funds will go to the family although the money raised from selling the wheelchair will be donated to the Motor Neurone Disease Association and the Stephen Hawking Foundation.

Cambridge Professor Stephen Hawking has provided a posthumous windfall for two charities.

According to the Guardian, the esteemed physicist's daughter Lucy Hawking said the auction was an opportunity for his admirers to "acquire a memento of our father's extraordinary life in the shape of a small selection of evocative and fascinating items".