Stephen Hawking's Wheelchair sells for nearly $ 400,000

A wheelchair used by the late British physicist Stephen Hawking has sold at auctions for nearly $ 400,000, with the money going to charity.

The motorized wheelchair, which was used by Hawking after being paralyzed by motor neuron disease, was expected to sell for around $ 20,000 in the online auction organized by Christie & # 39; s.

A copy of Hawking's thesis, called "Properties of Expanding Universes" from 1965, sold for $ 767,000, far more than the estimate of $ 200,000.

The proceeds from the auction go to two charities, the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Hawking was diagnosed with motor neurons at the age of 22 and had only a few years to live. However, he lived at the age of 76 and died in March.

Hawking explored the origins of the universe, expanded scientific thinking on black holes and became a well-known figure in pop culture.

A script from one of his performances in the television series "The Simpsons" was one of 22 items in the auction, which were sold for more than $ 8,000.

Hawking's daughter, Lucy, said the sale gave "admirers of his work the chance to get a memento of the extraordinary life of our father in the form of a small selection of suggestive and fascinating items."

Other items sold at the auction include an early edition of Hawking's best-selling book "A Brief History of Time", marked with a fingerprint, a collection of his medals and awards, and essays.

In total, the auction raised $ 1.8 million for the charity. Hawking's family donates other items from Hawking's archive to the British government instead of paying inheritance taxes.