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Stephen Hawking’s thesis, wheelchair sold for $1.8 million in auction

11 November 2018

A motorised wheelchair used by the late British physicist Stephen Hawking was sold at auction for £296,750, while a thesis fetched almost twice that amount at a sale to raise money for charity.

"We are very pleased to have the assistance of Christie's to help us with the important matter of managing our beloved father's archives and his unique and precious collection of personal and professional belongings, chronicling his life and work", the physicist's daughter, Lucy Hawking, said before the sale.

All proceeds from the wheelchair will go to the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

According to the Associated Press, Hawking's 1965 Cambridge University thesis, "Properties of Expanding Universes", sold for 584,750 pounds (nearly $767,000 in U.S currency), over three times the pre-sale estimate.

The motorized chair, used by Hawking after he was paralyzed with motor neuron disease - also called Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's disease - raised 296,750 pounds in a Christie's online auction.

Hawking instead lived for many more decades, dying this past March at age 76.

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The British theoretical physicist and cosmologist, famed for his work exploring the origins of the universe, .

A copy of his 1988 best-seller "A Brief History of Time", signed with a thumbprint, sold for about 89,000 dollars.

The motorized wheelchair he used from the late 1980's until the mid-90's sold for about $390,000, or 20 times the initial estimate.

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.

Belongings of Late scientists Stephen Hawking, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Albert Einstein were auctioned by Christie's on Thursday.

Stephen Hawking’s thesis, wheelchair sold for $1.8 million in auction