Dr. Stephen William Hawking was a world-famous theoretical physicist, best known for his theory surrounding black holes. His life inspired the 2014 film The Theory of Everything, which grossed $123.7 million and won an Academy Award for Best Actor. Sadly, Hawking passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 76.
At age 21, Hawking received traumatic news from his doctor, informing him of a life-threatening and debilitating illness, predicting that this ambitious scientist wouldn’t have long to live. Gradually through the years, Hawking’s illness worsened to an extent of paralysis. His disease is known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). For the rest of his life, this world-renowned physicist became conditioned to sitting in a wheelchair and speaking from a speech-generating device.
But he’s accomplished more in a wheelchair than many have on their feet. And he’s made more money in one tax year than many of us earn in a lifetime. But how much money does Dr. Hawking have in the bank? Let’s take a look and see, shall we?
Stephen Hawking Net Worth as of 2018: $20 Million
Dr. Stephen Hawking’s net worth rolls in at a sweet $20 million. Besides his role as a theoretical physicist and cosmologist, Hawking is also a best-selling author, publishing numerous commercially and critically successful books. His book A Brief History of Time, first published in 1988, went on to become a huge success, selling at least 10 million copies and spending more than four years on the Sunday Times bestsellers list. Hawking also held the positions of Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology (CTC) at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP) at the University of Cambridge. His salary is estimated to be about $3 million, according to CelebrityLifeCycle.
Let’s take a look at Hawking’s greatest accomplishments and awards earned throughout his prestigious life in science…
Stephen Hawking: A Life of Science, Awards, and Recognitions
Stephen William Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, England. At age 17, he enrolled at the University College, Oxford, where he studied physics. He reportedly found his work to be “ridiculously easy,” and by the third years of his studies he earned a first class honours degree in Natural Science, according to CTC.
While a graduate student in 1966, Hawking won his first award. He was given the Adams Prize for his essay, “Singularities and the Geometry of Space-Time”. Hawking received numerous other awards and honours throughout his life, including the Albert Einstein Award (1978), and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009) which is the highest civilian award in the United States. In 2012, Hawking won the Fundamental Physics Prize, along with the winning prize money of $3 million.
In 1974, Hawking came up with the theoretical argument called Hawking Radiation. This ground-breaking prediction defied the previously-purported idea that nothing can escape from black holes. Hawking, using his knowledge of quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity, came up with a theory which suggested that there was a particle that would defy gravity and radiate from black holes.
Hawking has also crossed over to popular culture, appearing in four episodes of The Simpsons, multiple episodes of The Big Bang Theory, and two episodes of Futurama.
How Does Hawking View His Own Enormous Wealth?
In July 2016, Hawking wrote an op-ed article for The Guardian, saying that he doesn’t have much use for material possessions. However, he found his wealth to be both practical and important for his lifestyle, considering his medical expenses and work. On the other hand, he wouldn’t know what to do with lavish possessions such as Ferraris or racehorses.
Hawking said, “So I have come to see money as a facilitator, as a means to an end – whether it is for ideas, or health, or security – but never as an end in itself.”