Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking's three children have issued a statement about his death, but his ex-wives are yet to comment on it. The physicist, who died Wednesday, March 14, married twice and is survived by three children.
Hawking died at the age of 76 after a long struggle with motor neuron disease, his family confirmed Wednesday.
Hawking, who was just 21 when he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), had three children – sons Robert Hawking and Timothy Hawking, and daughter Lucy Hawking – from his first wife Jane Wilde. His daughter Lucy, 47, is a journalist, novelist, educator, and philanthropist.
Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, Oxfordshire, and had two younger sisters and an adopted brother. He married twice – first to Wilde, who wrote the book The Theory of Everything, and then to Elaine Mason. Wilde was his friend's sister and they tied the knot shortly after he was diagnosed with ALS.
Hawking and Wilde first met at a New Year's Eve party and within two years of meeting, they got married on July 14, 1965. Their first child Robert was born in 1967, daughter Lucy was born in 1970 and nine years later, son Timothy was born.
They kept their marriage together for almost three decades before ending it in 1990, according to Reuters. "The truth was, there were four partners in our marriage," The Guardian quoted Wilde as saying in 2015. "Stephen and me, motor neuron disease and physics. If you took out motor neuron disease, you are still left with physics. Mrs Einstein, you know, cited physics as a difference for her divorce ..."
While Wilde revealed that there were four people in their marriage, Hawking said that said that she "became more and more depressed as her husband's condition worsened."
"She was worried I was going to die soon and wanted someone who would give her and the children support and marry her when I was gone," he wrote in his 2013 memoir.
Wilde, meanwhile, revealed that during their marriage Hawking would retreat into himself and at times would explain physics to her. It was crucial to him, but she felt out of the world, Wilde said. Hawking and Wilde ended their marriage in 1995 but they remained good friends.
"Our marriage was a great success. Stephen achieved what he wanted to achieve, we kept going for a very long time, and we had three wonderful children together. I feel a great deal of admiration – and a lot of love for him too. It's not the same kind of passionate love as before, but yes, I do still love him," she told The Telegraph.
In 1990, Hawking left his family to be with his nurse Elaine Mason and in September 1995, two months after divorcing Wilde, he married Mason. However, his second marriage also didn't last long and they divorced in 2006.
In a statement, Hawking's children said that their beloved father passed away on March 14. "We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years."
"His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humor inspired people across the world. He once said, 'It would not be much of a universe if it wasn't home to the people you love.' We will miss him forever," the statement reads.