Stephen Hawking peacefully dies at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday. The Briton was known for his work with black holes and relativity, and wrote several popular science books including ‘A Brief History of Time.’
At the age of 22 Stephen Hawking was given only a few years to live after being diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease. The illness left him in a wheelchair and largely unable to speak except through a voice synthesizer.
“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.” His children, Lucy, Robert and Tim said in a statement.
They praised his “courage and persistence” and said his “brilliance and humour” inspired people across the world.
Prof Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology as a union of relativity and quantum mechanics. He also discovered that black holes leak energy and fade to nothing-a phenomenon that would later become known as Hawking radiation.
The scientist gained popularity outside the academic world and appeared in several TV shows including The Simpsons, Red Dwarf and The Big Bang Theory.