Stephen Hawking Net Worth at Death – Salary, Income, Earnings

Stephen Hawking Net Worth

Stephen Hawking had an estimated net worth of $25 million at death. Stephen Hawking was a British scientist, professor, and author known for his work with black holes and relativity, and the author of popular science books like ‘A Brief History of Time.’ He earned most of his income from his work as a professor, book royalties, and from his appearances in movies and television shows. 

Stephen did groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology and his books helped make science accessible to everyone.

At the age of 21, while studying cosmology at Cambridge University, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Part of his life story was featured in the 2014 film The Theory of Everything.

To calculate the net worth of Stephen Hawking, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets.

All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities. 

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Stephen Hawking
Net Worth: $25 Million
Monthly Salary: $30 Thousand
Annual Income: $2 Million
Source of Wealth: Science writer, Physicist, Scientist, Astronomer, Mathematician, Professor, Author, Cosmologist, Astrophysicist

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Early Life

Hawking was born in Oxford, England, on January 8, 1942. His birthday coincided with the 300th anniversary of Galileo’s death, which had long been a source of pride for the eminent physicist.

Hawking was the eldest of four children born to thinkers Frank and Isobel Hawking.

His Scottish mother earned her way into Oxford University in the 1930s, when few women could attend college. His father, a fellow Oxford graduate, was a well-known medical researcher who specialized in tropical diseases.

Hawking’s birth occurred at an inconvenient time for his parents, who were poor. The political climate was also tense, as England was dealing with World War II and an onslaught of German bombs in London, where the couple was living while Frank Hawking pursued medical research.

Isobel returned to Oxford to have the couple’s first child in an attempt to find a safer place. Mary and Philippa Hawkings would be the Hawkings’ other children. In 1956, their second son, Edward, was adopted.

According to one close family friend, the Hawkings were a “eccentric” family. Dinner was frequently consumed in silence, with each of the Hawkings engrossed in a book. The family car was an old London taxi, and their St. Albans home was a three-story fixer-upper that was never quite finished. In addition, the Hawkings kept bees in the basement and made fireworks in the greenhouse.

Hawking’s father accepted a position managing the Division of Parasitology at the National Institute of Medical Research in 1950, and spent the winter months conducting research in Africa. He wanted his eldest child to be a doctor, but Hawking showed an early interest in science and the sky.

That was obvious to his mother, who, with her children, would often stretch out in the backyard on summer evenings to gaze up at the stars. “Stephen had a strong sense of wonder,” she recalled. “And I could see the stars attracting him.”

Hawking was also constantly on the move. Hawking, who enjoyed climbing, devised various entry routes into the family home with his sister Mary. He enjoyed dancing and rowing, eventually becoming a team coxswain in college.

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Hawking, while bright, was not an exceptional student early in his academic career. He was third from the bottom of his class during his first year at St. Albans School.

But Hawking was interested in things other than school; he enjoyed board games, and he and a few close friends invented their own. During his adolescence, Hawking and several friends built a computer out of recycled parts to solve simple mathematical equations.

At the age of 17, Hawking enrolled in University College at the University of Oxford. Despite his desire to study mathematics, Oxford did not offer a degree in that field, so Hawking gravitated toward physics and, more specifically, cosmology.

According to his own admission, Hawking did not devote much time to his studies. He later calculated that he spent about an hour a day concentrating on school. And yet he didn’t really have to do much more than that. He graduated with honors in natural science in 1962 and went on to Trinity Hall at the University of Cambridge to pursue a Ph.D. in cosmology.

Hawking was elected to the Cambridge Institute of Astronomy in 1968. The years that followed were fruitful for Hawking and his research. The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, his first highly technical book, was published in 1973 with G.F.R. Ellis.

In 1979, Hawking returned to the University of Cambridge, where he was appointed to the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a position that dates back to 1663.

Wife and Children

Hawking met Jane Wilde, a young languages undergraduate, at a New Year’s Eve party in 1963. They tied the knot in 1965. In 1967, the couple welcomed a son, Robert, and a daughter, Lucy, in 1970. Timothy, the third child, was born in 1979.

Hawking divorced Jane in 1990 for one of his nurses, Elaine Mason. In 1995, the couple married. The marriage strained Hawking’s relationship with his own children, who claimed Elaine cut him off from them.

In 2003, nurses caring for Hawking reported to police their suspicions that Elaine was physically abusing her husband. The police investigation was halted after Hawking denied the allegations. Hawking and Elaine filed for divorce in 2006.

The physicist reportedly became closer to his family in the years that followed. He made amends with Jane, who had remarried. He also co-wrote five science-themed children’s novels with his daughter, Lucy.

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Stephen Hawking: Books

Over the years, Hawking wrote or co-wrote a total of 15 books. A few of the most noteworthy include:

‘A Brief History of Time’

Hawking rose to international prominence with the publication of A Brief History of Time in 1988. The brief, informative book became a popular account of cosmology, providing an overview of space and time, the existence of God, and the future.

The book was an instant hit, spending more than four years at the top of the London Sunday Times best-seller list. It has sold millions of copies worldwide and been translated into over 40 languages since its release.

‘The Universe in a Nutshell’

A Brief History of Time was also not as easy to understand as some had hoped. That’s why Hawking followed it up in 2001 with his book The Universe in a Nutshell, which offers a more illustrated guide to the major theories of cosmology.

‘A Briefer History of Time’

Hawking wrote the even more accessible A Briefer History of Time in 2005, which further simplified the original work’s core concepts and touched on the field’s most recent developments, such as string theory.

These three books, along with Hawking’s own research and papers, articulated the physicist’s personal quest for science’s Holy Grail: a single unifying theory that can combine cosmology (the study of the big) and quantum mechanics (the study of the small) to explain how the universe came to be.

This type of ambitious thinking enabled Hawking, who claimed to be able to think in 11 dimensions, to lay out some significant possibilities for humanity. He was convinced that time travel is possible and that humans will eventually colonize other planets.

‘The Grand Design’

In his book The Grand Design, Hawking argued against the idea that God could have created the universe. Hawking previously contended that belief in a creator could coexist with modern scientific theories.

In this work, however, he concluded that the Big Bang was an unavoidable result of physics laws and nothing more. “Because there are laws like gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing,” Hawking explained. “There is something rather than nothing, the universe exists, and we exist because of spontaneous creation.”

Hawking’s first major publication in nearly a decade was The Grand Design. Hawking’s new book aimed to refute Isaac Newton’s belief that the universe had to be designed by God because it could not have arisen from chaos. “It is not necessary to invoke God in order to light the blue touch paper and start the universe,” Hawking explained.

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Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) when he was 21 years old. In a nutshell, the nerves controlling his muscles were shutting down. Doctors gave him two and a half years to live at the time.

Hawking first noticed problems with his physical health while at Oxford — he would trip and fall on occasion, or slur his speech — but he didn’t investigate the issue until 1963, during his first year at Cambridge. Hawking had mostly kept these symptoms to himself.

When his father became aware of Hawking’s condition, he took him to see a doctor. The 21-year-old college student spent the next two weeks at a medical clinic, where he underwent a battery of tests.

“They took a muscle sample from my arm, stuck electrodes in me, injected some radio-opaque fluid into my spine, and watched it go up and down with X-rays while tilting the bed,” he once explained. “After all of that, they didn’t tell me what I had, other than that it wasn’t multiple sclerosis and that I was an unusual case.”

Doctors eventually diagnosed Hawking with the early stages of ALS. It was heartbreaking news for him and his family, but a series of events kept him from becoming completely depressed.

The first of these arrived while Hawking was still hospitalized. He shared a room with a boy who had leukemia at the time. Hawking later reflected that, in comparison to what his roommate was going through, his situation seemed more tolerable.

Hawking had a dream that he was going to be executed not long after he was released from the hospital. He stated that this dream made him realize that he still had things to do with his life.

In some ways, Hawking’s disease contributed to his success as a scientist. Prior to his diagnosis, Hawking had not always prioritized his studies. “I was very bored with life before my condition was diagnosed,” he said. “There didn’t seem to be anything worthwhile to do.”

Hawking threw himself into his work and research after realizing he might not live long enough to complete his Ph.D.

The effects of his disease began to slow down as his physical control over his body deteriorated (he’d be forced to use a wheelchair by 1969). Hawking’s ever-expanding career, however, was accompanied by an ever-worsening physical state over time.

Research on the Universe and Black Holes

Hawking’s research made him a scientific celebrity in 1974 when he demonstrated that black holes are not the information vacuums that scientists had thought they were.

To put it simply, Hawking demonstrated that matter, in the form of radiation, can escape the gravitational force of a collapsing star. Another young cosmologist, Roger Penrose, had previously made groundbreaking discoveries about the fate of stars and the formation of black holes, which tapped into Hawking’s own fascination with the origins of the universe.

The pair then began collaborating to expand on Penrose’s earlier work, launching Hawking on a career path marked by awards, notoriety, and prestigious titles that reshaped the way the world thinks about black holes and the universe.

The announcement of Hawking’s radiation theory sent shock waves of excitement through the scientific world. At the age of 32, Hawking was elected a fellow of the Royal Society and later received the prestigious Albert Einstein Award, among other honors. He also taught at Caltech in Pasadena, California, as a visiting professor, and at Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge.

Hawking spoke at a conference in Sweden in August 2015 to discuss new theories about black holes and the perplexing “information paradox.” Addressing the issue of what becomes of an object that enters a black hole, Hawking proposed that information about the physical state of the object is stored in 2D form within an outer boundary known as the “event horizon. ”

He left open the possibility that the information could be released into another universe, noting that black holes “are not the eternal prisons they were once thought.”

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Hawking and Space Travel

Hawking took an important step toward space travel in 2007, at the age of 65. He was given the opportunity to experience zero gravity while visiting the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Hawking, a passenger on a modified Boeing 727, was freed from his wheelchair for two hours over the Atlantic, allowing him to experience bursts of weightlessness. Images of the free-floating physicist appeared in newspapers all over the world.

“The zero-G section was fantastic, and the high-G section was effortless. I could have continued. I’m heading to space! “He stated.

Hawking was to be one of Sir Richard Branson’s pioneer space tourists, flying to the edge of space. In a 2007 statement, he stated, “Life on Earth is increasingly threatened by disasters such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus, or other threats. I believe that if the human race does not venture into space, it will perish. As a result, I want to increase public interest in space.”

Stephen Hawking Movie and TV Appearances

Hawking personified the concept of a rock-star scientist. Guest appearances on The Simpsons, Star Trek: The Next Generation, a comedy spoof with comedian Jim Carrey on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and even a recorded voice-over on the Pink Floyd song “Keep Talking” were among his forays into popular culture.

In 1992, Oscar-winning filmmaker Errol Morris released A Brief History of Time, a documentary about Hawking’s life. Other television and film appearances include:

‘The Big Bang Theory’

Hawking demonstrated his comedic side on American television in 2012, when he appeared as a guest on The Big Bang Theory. Hawking, who plays himself in this popular comedy about a group of young, geeky scientists, returns theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) to Earth after discovering an error in his work. Hawking deserves praise for his lighthearted effort.

‘The Theory of Everything’

A film about Hawking and Jane Wilde’s lives was released in November of 2014. The Theory of Everything, starring Eddie Redmayne as Hawking, follows his childhood and school days, courtship and marriage to Wilde, the progression of his crippling disease, and his scientific triumphs.


In May 2016, Hawking was the host and spokesperson for Genius, a six-part television series that asks volunteers to answer scientific questions posed throughout history. In a statement about his series, Hawking said Genius is “a project that continues my lifelong goal of bringing science to the public. It’s an entertaining show that tries to find out if ordinary people are intelligent enough to think like the greatest thinkers of all time. As an optimist, I believe they can.

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The iBrain

Hawkings took part in a trial of the iBrain, a new headband-styled device, in 2011. According to The New York Times, the device is designed to “read” the wearer’s thoughts by picking up “waves of electrical brain signals,” which are then interpreted by a special algorithm. This device has the potential to be a game changer for people suffering from ALS.

Hawking on AI

In 2014, Hawking, along with other top scientists, spoke out about the potential dangers of artificial intelligence, or AI, calling for more research into all of AI’s potential ramifications. Their remarks were influenced by the Johnny Depp film Transcendence, which depicts a conflict between humanity and technology.

“Creating AI would be the most significant event in human history,” the scientists wrote. “Unfortunately, unless we learn how to avoid the risks, it may also be the last.” The group predicted that in the future, this technology would “outsmart financial markets, out-invent human researchers, out-manipulate human leaders, and develop weapons we cannot even comprehend.”

Hawking reiterated this position in November 2017 while speaking at a technology conference in Lisbon, Portugal. “We cannot know if we will be infinitely helped by AI, ignored and sidelined by it, or conceivably destroyed by it,” he said, noting how AI could potentially make gains in eradicating poverty and disease but could also lead to such theoretically destructive actions as the development of autonomous weapons.

Hawking and Aliens 

Hawking held a news conference in London in July 2015 to announce the launch of a project called Breakthrough Listen. Breakthrough Listen was founded by Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner to devote more resources to the discovery of extraterrestrial life.

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Breaking the Internet

Cambridge University published Hawking’s 1965 doctoral thesis, “Properties of Expanding Universes,” on its website in October 2017. An overwhelming demand for access caused the university server to crash, but the document still received 60,000 views before the end of its first day online.

When Did Stephen Hawking Die?

Hawking died on March 14, 2018, of ALS, the disease that was supposed to have killed him more than 50 years before. The iconic scientist died at his home in Cambridge, England, according to a family spokesman.

Many people in his field and beyond were moved by the news. Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and author, tweeted: “A star has just died in the cosmos. We have lost a wonderful human being. Hawking bravely fought and tamed the cosmos for 76 years, teaching us all something important about what it truly means to be human.”

Hawking’s children responded with the following statement: “We are deeply saddened by the death of our beloved father today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man, and his work and legacy will be remembered for many years to come. His bravery and perseverance, combined with his brilliance and wit, inspired people all over the world. ‘It wouldn’t be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love,’ he once said. We will never forget him.”

Later that month, it was announced that Hawking’s ashes would be interred alongside other scientific luminaries such as Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin at Westminster Abbey in London.

His final paper, titled “A smooth exit from eternal inflation?” was published in the Journal of High Energy Physics on May 2, 2018. The new report, co-authored by Belgian physicist Thomas Hertog and submitted 10 days before his death, challenges the idea that the universe will continue to expand.

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