Stephen Hawking CH CBE FRS
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Stephen William Hawking CH CBE FRS (1942 - 2018)

Prof. Stephen William Hawking CH CBE FRS
Born in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdommap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of [private wife (1940s - unknown)]
Descendants descendants
Father of [private son (1960s - unknown)], and [private son (1970s - unknown)]
Died at age 76 in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, United Kingdommap
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Profile last modified | Created 24 Nov 2014
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Stephen Hawking is popularly regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein.[1] He was also a celebrity, accepting cameo roles in numerous television shows and movies.[2][3]

Stephen William Hawking was born 08 January 1942 to Frank Hawking and Isobel (Walker) Hawking in Oxford, England.[4] This was 300 years to the day, as he often liked to point out, of Galileo's death.[2][3] The family lived in Oxford at the time, despite owning a house elsewhere, because of the war.[2] They later moved to St. Albans, where Stephen attended school.[2] He went on to attend Oxford, his father's alma mater, desiring a degree in mathematics.[2] When that wasn't an option, he started his lifelong pursuits in the world of physics.[2] He admits he was not really applying himself much at the time.[2][3]

In 1963 Hawking was diagnosed with a form of motor neurone disease, ALS, and was given two years to live.[2] Instead of accepting his fate, he fought it and went on to outlive his diagnosis by decades, as well as having a family and acquiring international recognition.[2]

Stephen married twice. His first marriage was to Jane Wilde in 1965.[5] He said it helped give him something to live for after the depression that ensued in learning his ALS diagnosis.[3] They remained married until 1995. They had three children, Robert (1967), Lucy (1970), and Timothy (1979).[2][1] He has several grandchildren, as well.[2]

Stephen's second marriage was to Elaine Mason, one of his nurses.[6] They divorced in 2006.

Despite his difficult health situation, Stephen became a brilliant researcher at Cambridge and Professorial Fellow at Gonville and Caius College.[2] From 1979 to 2009, he held the post of Lucasian Professor at Cambridge, the chair held by Isaac Newton in 1663, among many other scientific posts and honorary degrees.[2] He was also an author; his best-selling project, A Brief History of Time, is a New York Times best seller and was the inspiration for a documentary.[3] One of his most notable discoveries was that black holes are not actually black.[3] Another important piece of his work, his Hawking Radiation, he wanted engraved on his tombstone.[3]

Hawking stated that he was "not religious in the normal sense" and he believed that "the universe is governed by the laws of science. The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws."[7] In an interview published in The Guardian, Hawking regarded the concept of Heaven as a myth, believing that there is "no heaven or afterlife" and that such a notion was a "fairy story for people afraid of the dark."[3]In September 2014, Hawking declared himself an atheist.[8] Despite his belief, he served in an advisory role to the Vatican.[3]

Stephen Hawking passed away 14 March 2018 at his home in Cambridge, England.[2][3] His passing occurred on Einstein's birthday and was also Pi Day (3.14). His legacy includes his many publications as well as his numerous appearances in the media and his centers for scientific research.[2] His first wife, Jane Wilde, wrote a book about her life with him, which was made into a major motion picture, "The Theory of Everything" (2014).[3] She also typed his 1965 doctoral thesis, "Properties of expanding universes."[9]

Stephen Hawking was interred in Westminster Abbey, Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wikipedia:Stephen Hawking
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 Stephen Hawking Official Website, accessed 16 Mar 2018
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Overbye, Dennis, "Stephen Hawking Dies at 76; His Mind Roamed the Cosmos", The New York Times, 14 March 2018. Accessed via, 16 Mar 2018.
  4. "England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008," database, FamilySearch ( : 1 October 2014), Stephen W Hawking, 1942; from "England & Wales Births, 1837-2006," database, findmypast ( : 2012); citing Birth Registration, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, citing General Register Office, Southport, England.
    Name: Stephen W Hawking
    Mother's Maiden Surname: Walker
    Date of Registration: Jan-Feb-Mar 1942
    Registration district: Oxford
    Inferred County: Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Middlesex
    Volume Number: 3a
    Page Number: 3064
  5. "England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005," database, FamilySearch ( : 8 October 2014), Stephen W Hawking and null, 1965; from “England & Wales Marriages, 1837-2005,” database, findmypast ( : 2012); citing 1965, quarter 3, vol. 4A, p. 915, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, General Register Office, Southport, England.
  6. "England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005," database, FamilySearch ( : 8 October 2014), Stephen W Hawking and null, Sep 1995; from “England & Wales Marriages, 1837-2005,” database, findmypast ( : 2012); citing 1995, quarter 3, vol. 331, p. 0889, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, General Register Office, Southport, England.
  7. Quoted in "Stephen Hawking prepares for weightless flight", New Scientist (26 April 2007).
  8. Boyle, Alan (23 September 2014). "'I'm an Atheist': Stephen Hawking on God and Space Travel". NBC News. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  9. "Stephen Hawking auction raises astronomical sum," (2018, November 09). Agence France Press. Web. Retrieved November 9, 2018.[1]
  10. Find A Grave, database and images ( : Retrieved 09 March 2020), memorial page for Stephen Hawking (08 Jan 1942–14 Mar 2018), Find A Grave: Memorial #188025042, citing Westminster Abbey, Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England ;Maintained by Find A Grave.


Meaning of acronyms and awards:

  1. The Order of the Companions of Honour is an order of the Commonwealth realms
  2. The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry,
  3. Fellowship of the Royal Society (FRS, ForMemRS and HonFRS) is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society judges to have made a "substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science"
  4. Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) judges to have made outstanding achievements related to the Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce.

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Comments: 6

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You can trace Hawking’s Scottish ancestry and his links to a Nobel prize winner, physicist F. Duncan Haldane, on at
posted by Jim Scobbie
edited by Jim Scobbie
Hello Profile Managers!

We are featuring this profile in the Connection Finder this week. Between now and Wednesday is a good time to take a look at the sources and biography to see if there are updates and improvements that need made, especially those that will bring it up to WikiTree Style Guide standards. We know it's short notice, so don't fret too much. Just do what you can.



posted by Abby (Brown) Glann
See my comment above re connections to Hawking… there was good stuff on that I used, via Stevenson connections.
posted by Jim Scobbie
The last image, Paula Reinke Image 25 is not showing up.
posted by Nova Susanna Lehman
May I suggest a change to the bracket following Pi Day in the last paragraph - Pi (to two decimal places) is 3.14; March 14th is written 3.14 in the USA. 14.3 doesn't make sense.
posted by Wendy Scott
Remarkably, Hawking's ashes are to be interred in Westminster Abbey, near the graves of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.

It seems a fitting tribute.

posted by David Brodeur