A message from President Clinton
The Hawking family were honoured to receive this warm message from President Clinton.
I wish I could be with you to celebrate the life of Stephen Hawking.
I first met him 20 years ago, when Hillary invited him to the White House to deliver his Millennium lecture. He spoke through his electronic machine about time and space, how our understanding of them would change in the new century, and how we could find joy in the effort to match the expansion of the universe with the expansion of our knowledge of it.
It was clear to anyone who knew Stephen, heard him speak, or read his work, that buried in a broken body was a brain burning bright enough to light the darkest shadows of life and the blackest holes in outer space. From his wheelchair, he pushed back the limits of his physical boundaries and our intellectual ones.
I will always be grateful for his friendship, for his participation at the Clinton Global Initiative, and for the impact he had on millions of lives. I believe he lived longer than any other person with ALS because of his relentless, searching brain and his big, brave heart.
All our world owes Stephen Hawking an enormous debt for his courageous quests. He belongs to the ages, as he belongs in Westminster Abbey. May he rest in peace, his spirit free to roam all the galaxies he so loved.