Stephen Hawking's daughter speaks out about her father's death in rare TV interview

Stephen Hawking's daughter speaks out about her father's death in rare TV interview

On March 14 of this year, renowned physicist Stephen Hawking passed away at the age of 76. He was known across the globe for his incredible mind, contributions to modern science, and unrelenting determination to carry on with his work - even though he had motor neurone disease and was only expected to live to 25.

That same day, Hawking's three children shared an emotional statement on his passing:

"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. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humor inspired people across the world.

"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 for ever."

Now, three months on, Lucy Hawking - the physicist's daughter - has given a rare TV interview about her father.

Speaking on ITV's This Morning, Lucy spoke about how much she treasured her time with her father, but also how she wished she could have had more.

"We were enormously lucky to have so much time with him, so much more time than anybody could have possibly thought," she said. "He had extraordinary longevity with his condition, and in many ways was a medical miracle as well as a scientific one."

Alluding to his disability, she went on:

"But it was difficult because we did think that he could pass away at any time, or he would last forever.

"And so actually, even though with someone who has been ill for a very long time, you wouldn't think that their death could shock you, but it did."

As well as remembering her father's scientific feats, however, Lucy was also determined to keep his charitable legacy alive.

"I think it's very, very important that we take the elements of the work he did, which lies in his work in cosmology and physics, but also in his outreach in his work in education, his advocacy for the NHS [the UK's National Health Service] and for disability rights," she said, adding: "and we carry that on."

Indeed, even just months before his death, Hawking was taking direct action against the UK government in order to contest reforms to the NHS. What's more, he once turned down a knighthood because he was unhappy with the underfunding of scientific education in the UK.

Lucy herself has continued her father's philanthropic pursuits and has achieved great success in her life - albeit not in exactly the same field as Hawking. As well as teaching the world about her father's discoveries and beliefs, she is known for being a science educator, but primarily she is a children's novelist and journalist.

"He liked to say that there were no boundaries to human endeavour and there really were none," Lucy said of Professor Hawking - and it's evident from his legacy that he certainly was a man who lived by his word.