When I was studying Astrophysics, and my pals and I invited people to come and speak to the Astrophysics Society, we did think about inviting him, though I don’t think we ever tried. If I remember correctly, he had a bit of an abrasive relationship with the ‘establishment.’
He was a purist, and perhaps a bit cantankerous because of it. I suppose, a few generations on, we would have called him a geek, but been impressed by his dedication and sheer personality. He himself became an institution.
I don’t actually know much about his personal life, or philosophy, though I think he was a pragmatist, and didn’t have any time for the ‘why’ questions of life – please correct me if I am wrong. So I feel sad that he might be an example, like many fine people who dedicate their life to scientific endeavour, that he never got to understand the love of him who made the universe he so admired.
Someone brilliant at seeing, but who never saw.