Professor Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76 in his Cambridge home, a spokesman for his family said.
Professor Hawking’s children, Lucy, Robert and Tim said in a statement: “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 courage and persistence with 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.”
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Hawking was very public in his struggles with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which he was diagnosed with at 21 and not expected to live past his 25th birthday. Despite this, he exceeded all expectations.
The many people fans of the physicist have gone onto Twitter to express their grief and pay tribute to the author, philanthropist and cosmologist.
We were on earth at the same time as Stephen Hawking.
That’s kind of a miraculous thing.
We breathed the same air as the man who demystified the stars.
— Geraldine (@everywhereist) March 14, 2018
RIP Stephen Hawking. Genuinely very sad to hear that. If you haven’t, read A Brief History of Time. It’ll make the world feel more amazing and beautiful and strange. It’ll also make you feel smart and stupid all at once.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) March 14, 2018