Stephen Hawking, a renowned British theoretical physicist and cosmologist, died Tuesday at the age of 76, his family said late Tuesday.
“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today,” his children said in a statement to Sky News. “He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.”
Hawking was perhaps the most famous scientist in the world. His work included collaborating on gravitational singularity theorems, a set of results in general relativity which attempt to answer the question of when gravitation produces singularities. He also made the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often referred to as Hawking radiation.
His 1988 book “A Brief History of Time” sought to explain the origin of the universe to readers unfamiliar with scientific theories. It was enormously popular, selling more than 10 million copies and translated into 35 languages. It also spawned similar books by Hawking: “The Universe in a Nutshell” and “A Briefer History of Time.”
Hawking, who spoke through a computer system operated with his cheek, suffered from a form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis known as Lou Gehrig’s disease that gradually paralyzed him since he was first diagnosed at age 21.
A biopic about his life, “The Theory of Everything,” won an Oscar for Eddie Redmayne, the actor who portrayed Hawking.
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