World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has passed away at the age of 76.
According to several reports, he passed away on Wednesday morning (March 14) in his home in Cambridge, England.
His family has confirmed the demise with a statement released to the public:
“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.”
Stephen Hawking, who was battling Lou Gehrig’s Disease since being diagnosed at 21, was expected to live only for a few more years after 21 but he defied the odds and lived for several decades.
He was a trailblazer in the world of astrophysics and served as Director of Research at the Center for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge. His work in the field of relativity and black holes was ahead of its time. He authored the best selling science book A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes which was published in 1988 and remains a staple in the library of every science lover to this day. In his early 20’s Hawking was diagnosed with a rare form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that left his body paralyzed but his mind remained sharper than nearly everyone else on the planet. He communicated via a single cheek muscle attached to a device that would read out his brilliant thoughts.
His early years and love story with former wife Jane was turned into a movie in 2014’s The Theory of Everything. Eddie Redmayne went on to win a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Hawking. He had a wicked sense of humor, playing himself in a guest appearance on The Big Bang Theory, voicing himself on The Simpsons, and wishing he could appear on Keeping Up With The Kardashians. In 2o16 interview with ABC News’ David Muir he joked, “I won’t feel like a true pop culture icon until I’ve been on theKardashians.” Sadly he didn’t get that wish, but he will ALWAYS be an icon. In a weird twist of scientific legends, he was born on the date of Galileo‘s death, January 8. He died on the date of Albert Einstein‘s birth, March 14.