Isobel Eileen Hawking was best known as the mother of Stephen Hawking, who was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author who, at the time of his death in 2009, was director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge University. He was Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge from 1979 until his retirement in 2009. Who Was Isobel Eileen Hawking, Stephen Hawking’s Mother?
Meet Isobel Eileen Hawking: Stephen Hawking’s Mother
Isobel Eileen Hawking was born on November 2, 1917, in Glasgow, Scotland. She was the only child of John and Eileen Hawking. Her father worked as a solicitor, and her mother was a schoolteacher. Isobel attended the all-girls’ school, Notre Dame High School. She then went on to study at the University of St Andrews, where she met her future husband, Frank Hawking. The two married in 1942 and had three children together: Jane, Robert, and Tim.
Isobel was a supportive wife and mother, Though her husband’s health began to deteriorate in the 1960s due to his battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), she continued to care for him and their children. In 1985, Stephen Hawking published his best-selling book, A Brief History of Time, which made him a global celebrity. Isobel continued to support her husband’s work, even as his health declined further.
Isobel passed away on May 25, 2013, at the age of 95. Her legacy is one of strength, love, and determination in the face of incredible adversity. She will be remembered as an amazing woman who overcame great challenges in her life.
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Isobel Eileen Hawking’s Son
Isobel Eileen Hawking’s son, Stephen William Hawking was born on 8 January 1942 in Oxford, England. His parents’ house was in north London but during the Second World War Oxford was considered a safer place to have babies. As a child, Stephen suffered from ill health and was not expected to live long.
Despite his health problems, Stephen excelled at school and went on to study mathematics and physics at University College, Oxford. In 1962, he became one of the youngest fellows of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. It was while he was at Cambridge that Stephen developed motor neurone disease (MND), a condition that gradually paralyzes the body. Doctors said he would only live for a few years but Stephen defied their predictions.
With the help of his wife, Jane, and a team of nurses, Stephen continued to work and travel despite his condition. In 1979, he published A Brief History of Time, a book that explained complex scientific theories in simple terms. The book became an international bestseller and made Stephen Hawking a household name.
In the early 1990s, Stephen divorced Jane and married Elaine Mason. The couple separated after ten years but remained on good terms.
Stephen Hawking died on 14 March 2018 at the age of 76. He was survived by his three children: Robert (born 1967), Lucy (born 1970), and Tim (born 1979).