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Stephen Hawking’s 3 Pieces of Advice to His Children

The physicist, who passed away today, shared them with Diane Sawyer back in 2010.


Famed physicist and father of modern cosmology Stephen Hawking passed away this morning at the age of 76. Considered one of the most accomplished scientists of all time, Hawking was best known for his work with black holes and relativity, and his landmark book, A Brief History of Time.

Hawking also spent his career struggling to overcome the immense challenges of ALS. At the age of just 21, he was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease, and doctors only gave him a few years left to live. Though paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair, Hawking survived decades longer than expected,  married twice, and was a father to three children.

In a 2010 interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC World News, Hawking shared the three best pieces of advice that he gave his children:

  1. “One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.
  2. “Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose.
  3. “Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is rare and don’t throw it away.”

Hawking’s three children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim, mourned the loss of their father today, saying in a statement: “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.”

Others have also paid tribute, including actor Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Hawking in 2014’s The Theory of Everything.“We have lost a truly beautiful mind, an astonishing scientist and the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet,” said Redmayne.