Despite their divorce, Stephen Hawking’s first wife continued to support him throughout his illness. The love affair and marriage between Stephen and Jane Hawking was made famous by the 2014 Oscar-winning movie, The Theory of Everything. The couple met in 1962 at Cambridge University, a year before Stephen was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Their love prevailed, becoming engaged in 1963 and marrying in 1965. In 1967, Jane gave birth to the first of the couple’s three children, Robert, with Lucy following in 1970 and Timothy being born in 1979.
The couple divorced in 1995 having first separated in 1990. Jane married musician Jonathan Jones in 1997 but still remained close to Stephen, aiding him in his work. Jane released two autobiographical books about her first husband, 1999’s Music to Move the Stars: A Life With Stephen and Traveling to Infinity: My Live With Stephen.
In a statement released on March 14, Stephen and Jane’s children announced the famed scientists passing. The children wrote, “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. 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.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Stephen & Jane Stopped Having Sex in the 1980s
Among the more infamous chapters of Stephen’s life was the period in which it was publicly announced in 1990 that he was leaving the mother of this children for nurse, Elaine Mason. The couple married in September 1995. Writer Kitty Ferguson wrote in Stephen Hawking: An Unfettered Mind that Stephen and Jane’s marriage had become strained during the 1980s because of Stephen’s new relationship with Elaine Mason. Jane told Vanity Fair in 2004 that she had stopped having sex with Stephen in the 1980s because she “was afraid he would die in the act of love.”
Also in the 1980s, the man who was to become Jane’s second husband, choirmaster Jonathan Jones, became “frequently seen” around the Hawking house, according to Vanity Fair. Though Jane is adamant that her relationship with Jonathan Jones was plutonic until her marriage was over. When Stephen found about the relationship between Jonathan Jones and Jane, the scientist “generously accepted” it.
It was only after Stephen split from …read more