Stephen Hawking: His Ex Wife Jane Hawking, Net Worth, And Movie

Pope Francis greets physicist Stephen Hawking during an audience.
L'Osservatore Romano / AP Images

Stephen Hawking, the award-winning physicist and author, whose books included The Universe in a Nutshell and A Brief History of Time has died. The celebrated physicist contracted ALS disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) in 1963 at the age of 21. He was at the time given only two years to live. He, however, beat the odds, going on to become one of the most celebrated people in the world in his field. Stephen Hawking is widely credited for theorizing a particle that defies gravity and radiates from black holes.

It is now known as the Hawking radiation theory. He leaves behind three children, Lucy Hawking, Timothy Hawking, and Robert Hawking. The Theory of Everything is a movie on his life based on Jane Hawking’s book, Travelling to Infinity: My Life. It is a romantic drama that strives to illustrate her relationship with the scientist.

Jane Wilde

Jane Wilde was Stephen Hawking’s first wife. They met in 1963, just before he was diagnosed with ALS. The couple tied the knot in 1965. She agreed to marry him even though she knew he was suffering from a debilitating condition that was getting worse. Speaking to Radio Times following the release of his 2014 biopic The Theory of Everything, she talked about the circumstances that led to their split, saying things simply got incredibly complicated after he became famous. She apparently felt that the family had been “left behind” after all the fame. The following was her exact statement in regard to this.

“To me, Stephen was my husband and the father of my children; one does not say to one’s husband, ‘Oh, you’re so clever! I must worship the ground under your feet, or in this case, wheels.’ I found this kind of sycophantic attitude – the attitude adopted by so many people around Stephen – exceptionally frustrating and, of course, it grew a lot worse when we finally had to engage carers.”

Speaking about the challenges she faced in looking after someone with ALS, she described the experience as traumatic, as Stephen Hawking’s carers also caused problems and few tended not to respect the family, saying, “I was desperate; I didn’t think I could carry on, because I was so drained.” This is as reported by The Independent. They split in 1990 after he became close to one of his carers, Elaine Mason.

His Net Worth

Stephen Hawking has an estimated net worth of about $20 million in 2018. A sizeable amount of his earnings are from his books, which have become best sellers due to his exceptional knowledge on the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. His book A Brief History of Time, for example, became a best seller for close to four years. This is according to The Times. It has over 10 million copies sold.