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Stephen Hawking’s family lived in Lucknow in late 1950s

Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, who fascinated the scientific community with his theories and lived his life battling Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, had a Lucknow connection.

lucknow Updated: Mar 15, 2018 14:53 IST
Deep Saxena
Deep Saxena
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Stephen Hawking,Lucknow,Lucknow connection
Stephen Hawking wrote about his Lucknow connection in his memoir ‘My Brief History’, published by Bantam Press.(AFP Files)

Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, who fascinated the scientific community with his theories and lived his life battling Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), had a Lucknow connection.

His father Frank Hawking, who was the head of the National Institute for Medical Research in England, lived in the state capital in the late 1950s.

Bibliophile and book seller late Ram Advani told Hindustan Times in a chat a few years ago that back then Frank Hawking worked with the Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), which was then situated at Chattar Manzil. Advani had recalled meeting Frank and some other CDRI scientists, and had said that Stephen’s sister also studied in a school in Lucknow.

Stephen Hawking, whose family spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday that he had passed away at 76 years of age, also wrote about his Lucknow connection in his memoir ‘My Brief History’, published by Bantam Press.

The memoir mentions his visit to the city. In the chapter titled ‘Oxford’, Hawking said, “In summer holidays, I went to India to join the rest of the family, who were living in a house in Lucknow rented from a former chief minister of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh who has been disgraced for corruption.”

He further wrote, “My father refused to eat Indian food during his time there, so he hired an ex-British Army cook and bearer to prepare and serve English food.”

Hawking also mentioned his visit to Srinagar, J&K, and his stay in a houseboat. This was in 1959, when he was preparing to apply to the Oxford University.

First Published: Mar 15, 2018 14:53 IST