Physicist Stephen Hawking Dies At 76
Earlier today, 14 March, Stephen Hawking's family released a statement saying that the renowned physicist passed away at his home in Cambridge. Hawking was 76.
"We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today," Professor Hawking's children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim said in a statement, adding, "He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years."
Praising his "courage and persistence", the professor's children said "his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world"
"He once said: 'It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.' We will miss him forever," the statement by his family concluded.
A theoretical physicist, Hawking's early work on black holes reshaped how scientists thought about the nature of the universe
It was professor Hawking who discovered that black holes are not completely black but emits radiation and will likely eventually evaporate and disappear.
He authored numerous books including the landmark "A Brief History of Time," which has sold more than 10 million copies, according to CNN.
Apart from being considered by many to be the world's greatest living scientist, he was also a cosmologist, astronomer, and a mathematician.
Born on 8 January 1942 in England, Hawking was diagnosed with motor neurone disease by 1963. At that time, the wheelchair-bound, robot-voiced physicist was given two years to live.
Speaking about his illness in an essay he wrote back in 1984, Hawking said: "My disabilities have not been a significant handicap in my field, which is theoretical physics. Indeed, they have helped me in a way."
He added that his illness gave him the time to think through physics problems, rather than lecture or perform administrative duties, reported Buzzfeed News.
His life story was the subject of the 2014 film 'The Theory of Everything', which explored the collapse of his marriage to his first wife. He was portrayed by Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar for his role.
Professor Hawking leaves behind three children from his first marriage, Robert, Timothy, and Lucy and three grandchildren
This YouTube video from 2014 shows the professor taking the Ice Bucket Challenge.