Stephen Hawking was not only one of the greatest minds of our time, but also one of the richest scientists in the world. Thanks to his groundbreaking work in physics, Stephen Hawking’s net worth in 2018 is estimated at $20.0 million.
One of the smartest people in the world, Stephen Hawking passed away on March 14, 2018. He not only leaves behind a legacy of research transcending space and time, but also the millions he made from it.
Hawking was dependent on his wheelchair and speech-generating device. However, it didn’t stop him from amassing an estimated net worth of $20.0 million with his work.
Here’s how Stephen Hawking became one of the richest scientists in the world.
How Did Stephen Hawking Make His Millions?
- Stephen William Hawking was a renowned cosmologist and theoretical physicist, and accomplished author, and the Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge.
- Hawking’s work earned him a net worth estimated at $20.0 million.
- Born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, England, Hawking and his siblings grew up frugally.
- He attended University College, Oxford, where he estimates he clocked in about 1,000 hours of studying in three years.
- Hawking briefly fell into depression after being diagnosed with motor neuron disease at the age of 21; he returned to his research with encouragement from his mentor.
- Between 1967 and 1975, his early research on black holes changed the prevalent knowledge on gravity at that time.
- As a director of research at Cambridge, Hawking reportedly commanded a sizable salary.
- The biggest source of his wealth comes from all his published work, which includes over 100 scientific papers; he also authored and co-authored dozens of books on his theories.
- Stephen Hawking’s book, A Brief History of Time (1988), was a Sunday Times bestseller for five years and paid well in royalties.
- The scientist also wrote and published a series of children books with his daughter, Lucy.
Stephen Hawking’s Awards
- Stephen Hawking also earned millions in accolades, and any are still amazed that he hasn’t won a Nobel Prize in his lifetime.
- He won the Special Fundamental Physics Prize for all his collective achievements in science, which is considered to be the most lucrative award in science.
- Hawking took home a whopping $3.0 million in prize money and said that would go to the care of his autistic grandson.
- Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s Breakthrough Initiatives awards the Special Fundamental Physics Prize; Hawking later joined Milner for the Breakthrough Starshot project in 2016; the space exploration project focused on searching for extra-terrestrial life and was worth $100.0 million.
Stephen Hawking’s Movies and TV Shows
- Hawking’s famous for his appearances in The Simpsons, Futurama, The Big Bang Theory, and talk shows where he impressed with his dry wit.
- The cosmologist had a big hand in the production of movies and reportedly received a huge cut from the 2014 biopic, The Theory of Everything.
- The Theory of Everything won Eddie Redmayne, who portrayed Hawking, an Oscar; the movie was also nominated for Best Picture.
Money Is Not Everything
- Hawking valued his work more than money and decried the obsession with earning wealth.
- In an article for the Guardian, he described the importance of money for disabled people like him.
- One of the reasons Hawking was opposed to Brexit was because British scientists depend on grants and funding from the European Commission.
- The greed to earn more was something he opposed, even though the physicist admitted that the wealth he earned helped him.
- “Although wealth has played an important practical role in my life,” said Hawking, “I have of course had a different relationship with it to most people. Paying for my care as a severely disabled man, and my work, is crucial; the acquisition of possessions is not.”
- Even if money was at the bottom of Hawking’s list of priorities, he is counted among the richest and most influential scientists of our time.
Here’s how Stephen Hawking compares to some of the wealthiest scientists in the world:
|Stephen Hawking||Cosmologist, University of Cambridge||$20.0 million|
|Kathleen Taylor||Research Scientist, University of Oxford||$2.5 million|
|Neil deGrasse Tyson||Astrophysicist||$2.0 million|
|Richard Dawkins||Evolutionary Biologist||$10.0 million|
|Jane Goodall||Primatologist; UN Messenger of Peace||$10.0 million|
|Noam Chomsky||Linguist, Cognitive Scientist||$5.0 million|
|Gordon Moore||Chairman of Intel Corporation; Author of Moore’s Law||$9.8 billion|
|Stephen Hillenburg||Marine Biologist; Creator of Spongebob Squarepants||$110.0-$130.0 million|