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Stephen Hawking, famed physicist, dies at age 76, reports say

March 14, 2018

Stephen Hawking, famed physicist, dies at age 76, reports say

CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom — Famed British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has died at his home at the age of 76, according to numerous reports.

“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today,” Hawking’s children said in a news release, according to the Telegraph. “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 humor 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.”

Hawking is survived by three children and three grandchildren.

Hawking was known not only for his groundbreaking theories on the origins of the universe but also for his nearly lifelong struggle with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a neurodegenerative disease commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, according to CNN.

He was diagnosed when he was only 21 years old and was expected to only live a few more years. The disease left him in a wheelchair, unable to speak on his own and able to move only a few fingers on one hand.

The professor at the University of Cambridge defied the odds and went on to write several books. His most famous, “A Brief History of Time,” has sold more than 10 million copies.

“I have been lucky that my condition has progressed more slowly than is often the case,” Hawking said. “But it shows that one need not lose hope.”

Among his many other books are “Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays,” “The Universe in a Nutshell,” “The Grand Design” and “My Brief History.”

He teamed with Roger Penrose for his first major breakthrough, according to the Guardian, in which they “applied the mathematics of black holes to the entire universe and showed that a singularity, a region of infinite curvature in spacetime, lay in our distant past: The point from which came the big bang.”

The Guardian reports Hawking never won the Nobel Prize, but was honored with the Albert Einstein Award, the Wolf Prize, the Copley Medal, and the Fundamental Physics Prize.

In 2009 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.

Reports say Hawking was known for a sharp sense of humor and even appeared on some TV shows, including “Big Bang Theory,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “The Simpsons.”

However, the Guardian also reports he was accused of being sexist and misogynistic, and he often upset religious figures with his comments on God and religious belief.

In 2014, Hawking was portrayed by Eddie Redmayne in the film “The Theory of Everything,” based on Hawking early life and his relationship with his wife.

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