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Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair and thesis fetch more than US$1m at auction

Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair and thesis fetch more than US$1m at auction

Hawking has been strapped in a wheelchair for most of his life because of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS. A wheelchair used by Stephen Hawking has sold at auction for nearly 300,000 pounds ($393,000), while a copy of the scientist's doctoral thesis fetched nearly 585,000 pounds ($767,000).

Personal items of renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, including his personalized wheelchair, doctoral thesis and medals, have been auctioned for over a million dollars.

A copy of Hawking's book "A Brief History of Time" with his thumbprint signature along with his essays, medals and awards were sold for £68,750 in online sale on Thursday.

Hawking died at the age of 76 in March, he suffered from motor neuron disease most of his life.

The red motorised wheelchair once used by Hawking went under the stamp for $391.7 million while his Cambridge thesis titled "Properties of Expanding Universes" was sold for $7.6 million. Hawking has made cameos in the long-running show throughout its 30-year run.

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"Stephen Hawking was a huge personality worldwide", Thomas Venning, head of the Books and Manuscripts department at auction house Christie's London, told Reuters prior to the auction.

Apart from Hawking, one of Newton's manuscripts sold for around $130,000, a set of seven awards, including Einstein's award for achievement in natural sciences sold for about $387,000, a letter written by Darwin sold for $65,230, and one of Einstein's manuscripts gathered $42,399.

An invitation he sent out to a party held several years previously, a light-hearted experiment to see if any time travellers would turn up, sold for more than 10 times its pre-sale estimate of £100, while a bomber jacket he wore in a 2016 documentary raised £40,000.

Hawking's children hope to preserve his scientific archive for the nation.

All the proceeds from the sale of the chair will benefit the Motor Neurone Disease Association and The Stephen Hawking Foundation.