Who is Robert Hawking: Story of Late Stephen Hawking’s Eldest Son Who Wants to Continue his Father’s Legacy

robert hawking son of late Stephen Hawking

It’s been 2 years since he left us, but his contributions in black hole and science in general made pathways for future generations. For a layman who won’t give a penny of care for science, there is a movie called “Theory of Everything” that depicts the life of the physicist in the best possible way. 

Although, the 2014 released movie highlights his life timeline from ALS to breaking into the scene with Hawking Radiation, the movie had all of us curiously perpetuate about his wife and kids.

Stephen has three kids together with his first wife Jane Wilde and surprisingly (not really) doing great with their life. While there are questions to be answered about Stephen’s whole family line, we dig deep into the life of his eldest son, Robert Hawking.

Here is everything we know about the senior Hawking who wants to remember Stephen as a father and grandfather rather than a public figure.

Robert and Stephen Both Went to Cambridge University

Whether you remember him as one of the most decorated scientists of all times or from Sheldon Cooper’s (Big Bang Theory) biggest obsession, there is no denying that Hawking wore science on his sleeves till his death. And just like his father, Robert too is an academic junkie. However, his field of interest seem to be rather practical one in engineering. Just like his pop, Robert too went to Cambridge University for his post graduate degree.

Born in May 1967, Robert initially had a thing for physics but as the time went on, he love gravitated toward Engineering. According to his Linkedin profile, he went to Cambridge to pursue Masters of Arts. Later he did his Masters in Business Information Technology Systems from University of Strathclyde.

Robert is a Family Man with Two Kids

robert with his wife katrina in breakthrough prize

Robert is married to Katrina Hawking and has a daughter and son together. She is a member of Evergreen ALS Association and completely devotes herself to the cause. Through out her Facebook posts, we can see her deep concern for ALS.

In 2014, the the three kids, Lucy, Robert, and Timothy, along with Robert’s son took a ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The challenged was recorded and witnessed by none other than Katrina Hawking.

She and Robert also host a series of virtual wine tasting program in collaboration with ALS Association to create awareness and raise fund for ALS, the disease that eventually took Stephen’s life.

The entire Hawking family has been in the front line of various campaigns for ALS.

Stephen and his Family had a Harmonious Relationship

stephen hawking with wife jane and kids

In his eulogy, Robert clearly states how his dad took pride in his kids and loved them to death. Even at his worse condition, Stephen would take his sons Robert and Timothy to a water slide park, and to Aviemore so that he could see them ski.

In the growing years, Stephen did his best to meet his kids individual needs. Robert mentioned how his dad always went to Lucy’s plays although he was never on time. He even took Tim to races as he was quite fond of motor racing. Stephen even pushed himself to take his grandchildren to the pantomime, said Robert.

Speaking Against his Father Getting Allegedly Abused by his then Wife

The Hawking family share a mutual bond of love and respect for each other. Even after the couple’s split in 1995, Jane, Jonathan (Jane’s Husband), and their kids often pay visits to Stephen’s house. Jane now a grandmother of three has also taken the responsibility of Lucy’s son who is autistic. 

Tim and Lucy even showed their concern when they found bruises on Stephen’s body along with a broken arm. According to a rare interview, Tim told that he was never sure about Mason’s intent behind the marriage. And blamed Elaine Mason(Stephen’s second wife) behind the misconduct. Tim described the behavior as “completely despicable and unacceptable”.

The nurse that took care of Stephen also told that Elaine abuses her husband. In one of her statement she told

She gets angry and has thrown him on the bed where he kicks his limbs or hurts himself. She allowed him to slip down low in the bath so the water goes in the hole in his throat.

However, Stephen denied the speculations. 

“My wife and I love each other very much, and it is only because of her that I am alive today, he said in January 2004, speaking from Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge.

‘The stories in the media are completely false, and I am profoundly disappointed by the circulation of such personal and inaccurate information,” said Hawking.

However, they got divorced in 2006 and the reason behind it is yet to be disclosed.

He Adored his Father Stephen

stephen hawking with his family ex wife jane, robert, lucy, and tim

Robert shares a special and emotional bond with his father. When he was just a minor he used to take care of his father which his mother refers to as emphatic and affectionate side of his son.

“He had to do things for his father that children really shouldn’t have to,” said Jane.

In his eulogy given at Stephen’s funeral, he remembered Stephen as a hero who resisted and lived life to the fullest in the face of ALS.

Robert is an Accomplished Software Engineer of Microsoft

Stephen was a doting father. And he supported his kids dreams in thick and thin. In the eulogy posted by Robert Hawking on Medium, he mentions how he had a great interest in computers from a young age, and his father greatly supported him. He even gave him a computer book,”Fortran techniques with special reference to non-numerical applications” that Robert keeps in his bookcase till this date. With degrees in hand and mind of Hawking, it didn’t take him long to land a job.

According to his profile in Linkedin, he first started his career as a programmer in Colin Ross Malone, Glasgow where he worked from 1991 to 1994. In this company, he built a spreadsheet program called “Schema 2.”

However, he settled down in Seattle, Washington when he landed job in Microsoft. And, it been almost 26 years since he has been working in the company as principal software engineer.

Robert Used to Go Dancing with Stephen

Stephen was a man of brilliance but for his kids he was just a passionate man with absurd hobbies. Robert recalled how his father would force him go to dancing with him even when it wasn’t the right time.

‘After a day of public engagements, when most of us thought it was time for bed, we went out for salsa at his insistence,’ Robert said.

He also mentioned about the day when his brother, Tim went to a Christmas party just to find his dad on the edge of the dance floor.

Robert has Several Patents Attached to his Name

His dad was at the frontline of various inventions, but Robert isn’t far away as well. While working for Microsoft he has developed various programs in collaboration with his colleagues. His inventions includes programs like user interface filter & redirecting the source of a data object.

Although this might not be as significant as having a name like “Hawking Radiation,” he has made certain invention in IT. And boy! has he patented it.

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