In Summary
  • His genius and wit won over fans from far beyond the rarified world of astrophysics.

  • He died peacefully at his home in the British university city of Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

  • "We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today," professor Hawking's children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim said in a statement carried by Britain's Press Association news agency.

LONDON,

Renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking, whose mental genius and physical disability made him a household name and inspiration across the globe, has died at age 76, his family said Wednesday.

Hawking, whose 1988 book "A Brief History of Time" became an unlikely worldwide bestseller and cemented his superstar status, dedicated his life to unlocking the secrets of the Universe.

'PEACEFULLY'

His genius and wit won over fans from far beyond the rarified world of astrophysics.

He died peacefully at his home in the British university city of Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

"We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today," professor Hawking's children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim said in a statement carried by Britain's Press Association news agency.

Stephen Hawking

In this file photo taken on April 21, 2008, British physicist Stephen Hawking (L) and his daughter Lucy Hawking give a lecture entitled 'Why We Should Go Into Space' during the 50 Years of NASA lecture series at George Washington University in Washington, DC. PHOTO | JIM WATSON | AFP

"He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years."

Hawking defied predictions he would only live for a few years after developing a form of motor neurone disease in 1964 at the age of 22.

Stephen Hawking

In this file photo taken on November 28, 2016 Pope Francis (L) meets with English theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking at the Vatican on November 28, 2016. PHOTO | FILIPPO MONTEFORTE | AFP

The illness gradually robbed him of mobility, leaving him confined to a wheelchair, almost completely paralysed and unable to speak except through his trademark voice synthesiser.

RELATIVITY

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