The White House also shared a brief clip from an August 2009 interview with the Medal of Freedom award winner that it said in a blog post comes from Hawking's visit to the White House to receive the award.

“The thrill of discovering something no one knew before is like nothing else I know,” Hawking says in the video clip. “I want to share my excitement with everyone. My main challenge has been Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or ALS. I have had it since I was 21, but it has not prevented me from exploring the universe with my mind or having three wonderful children.”