Physicist Stephen Hawking has died on Wednesday, March 14, at age 76.
When he was diagnosed with ALS at age 21, he was given only 2 years to survive. The famed academic was known for his revolutionary work with black holes and relativity. He was the first man to propose a theory of cosmology by combining the general theory of relativity with quantum mechanics.
His family released a statement early Monday morning confirming that he passed away at his home in Cambridge.
In a statement, the scientist’s children said, “We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today.”
Read on to learn more about Stephen Hawking’s family.
1. He Is Survived by His Three Children
Hawking is survived by his three children: his son, Robert, born May 1967, his daughter, Lucy, born 1970, and his third child, Timothy, was born in 1979.
According to The Guardian, Hawkings children sid of their father, “He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world.”
They added on, “He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’”
2. His Daughter Lucy Is a Prolific Writer & Educator
Hawking’s daughter, Lucy, who is now 47, is a successful journalist, novelist, educator, and philanthropist.
At the University of Oxford, Lucy spent her time studying French and Russian. After graduating, she went on to study international journalism at City, University of London. As a journalist, Lucy has written for New York magazine, Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Times and The Guardian.
3. He Had Two Younger Sisters and an Adopted Brother
Hawking had two younger sisters, Philippa and Mary, and an adopted brother, Edward.
He was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, Oxfordshire.
4. His First Wife Wrote the Book That ‘the Theory of Everything’ Is Based off of
Hawking was married twice. First, to Jane Wilde, from 1965 to 1995. Then, to Elaine Mason, from 1995 to 2006.
He met Wilde, who was a friend of his sister, shortly before being diagnosed with motor neuron disease at age 21. The two became engaged in 1964 and were married on July 14, 1965.
In 2015, Jane opened up about her relationship and 26-year marriage to Hawking. “When Stephen was first diagnosed, we weren’t actually going out together, but I was already falling in love with him,” she told the Telegraph. “He had beautiful eyes and this amazing sense of humour, so we were always laughing. Also I was young and had lots of energy and optimism and that did make a difference. But most importantly I loved Stephen and wanted to do my best for him. So I thought that I could easily devote two years of my life to help somebody I loved – someone who had so much potential – achieve his ambitions.”
Jane admits that fame was overwhelming and daunting not only for her but Stephen’s entire family. She tells The Telegraph that after her husband published A Brief History of Time, things were made worse. “It drew all sorts of people into our circle and really made our home life intolerable.”
Although he went on to marry nurse Elaine Mason, Jane told the Telegraph that they were still good friends. “Our marriage was a great success. Stephen achieved what he wanted to achieve, we kept going for a very long time, and we had three wonderful children together. I feel a great deal of admiration – and a lot of love for him too. It’s not the same kind of passionate love as before, but yes, I do still love him.”
Jane’s book, Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, was the inspiration for the film The Theory of Everything.
5. His Second Wife Was One of His Nurses
In the late 1980s, Hawking grew close to one of his nurses, Elaine Mason. In February 1990, he left his family to be with Mason. He and Jane officially divorced in the spring of 1995, and he married Mason the following September.
Interestingly enough, Jane had met an organist in the mid-1980s named Jonathon Hellyer Jones who she went on to marry one year after Stephen wed Elaine.