Wheelchair used by Stephen Hawking auctioned off, proceeds to go to charity

Olive Hawkins
November 11, 2018

The Auction House Christie's Head of the Books and Manuscripts department, Thomas Venning said to a media that the legendary Stephen Hawking was a huge personality worldwide and had an unbelievable ability to connect with people with his brilliance and knowledge over science.

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.

Hawking's 117-page dissertation "Properties of expanding universes" from 1965 sold for £584,750, well ahead of the estimate of up to 150,000.

Hawking instead lived for many more decades, dying this past March at age 76. It had been expected to fetch 10,000 pounds to 15,000 pounds.

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The Guardian reported that other items in the auction included personal copies of the British physicist's papers, such as a copy of his 1974 article, "Black Hole Explosions?", in which he predicted that black holes would release blackbody radiation, known as Hawking Radiation.

The sale, which was held online by the auction house on Thursday, collected more than $1.8 million, breaking past pre-sale expectations, according to AFP. He became a celebrity in 1988 with the publication of his "A Brief History of Time" - one of the best-selling books about science of all time.

A script from one of his appearances on the television series "The Simpsons" was one of the 22 items in the auction, selling for more than $8,000.

When the document was made available online previous year by Cambridge University, where Hawking spent his career, it was so popular that it crashed the website.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. Christie's is handling the negotiations to hand it over to British authorities in lieu of inheritance tax.

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