PHYSICIST’S THESIS, WHEELCHAIR FETCH FUNDS FOR CHARITY
LONDON» A wheelchair used by physicist Stephen Hawking has sold at auction for nearly $393,000, while a copy of his doctoral thesis fetched almost $767,000, auctioneer Christie’s said Thursday.
Proceeds from the wheelchair’s sale will go to two charities — the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Hawking’s 1965 Cambridge University thesis, “Properties of Expanding Universes,” sold for more than three times its presale estimate, in the online auction.
Diagnosed with motor neuron disease at age 22 and expected to live just a few more years, Hawking instead died in March at 76. He expanded scientific thinking about black holes and the origins of the universe and attained celebrity status, writing best-selling books and starring on “The Simpsons.”
Hawking’s daughter, Lucy, said the sale gave “admirers of his work the chance to acquire a memento of our father’s extraordinary life in the shape of a small selection of evocative and fascinating items.”