Stephen Hawking’s Wheelchair Sold at Auction

Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair sold for over $300,000 at an auction Thursday. The sale—titled “On the Shoulders of Giants” in reference to Isaac Newton’s famous turn of phrase—showcased many personal items of celebrated scientists, including Newton, Hawking, Charles Darwin, and Albert Einstein. The sale raised a total of over $2 million. The money raised by the sale of Hawking’s iconic wheelchair will go to the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Hawking, who died in March at the age of 76, lived most of his life with motor neurone disease. Hawking’s bomber jacket was also sold at the auction for over $52,000, and a copy of his bestselling A Brief History of Time, signed with his thumbprint, went for almost $90,000. The script for one of his many appearances on the TV show The Simpsons sold for over $8,000. The biggest ticket item turned out to be one of five known copies of Hawking’s PhD thesis. Originally priced at about $200,000, the dissertation eventually was secured by a buyer for over $700,000.