World renowned scientist Stephen Hawking has sadly passed away at the age of 76.
It is reported that he passed away peacefully in the comfort of his home in Cambridge early this morning (Wednesday 14th March).
His children, Lucy, Robert and Tim have released a statement saying: “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.”
At the age of 22 Hawking was diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease and doctors only expected him to live for a further two years, but it became apparent that this form of motor neurone disease would progress much slower than expected.
Famed for his ground-breaking work based around black holes and relativity, he published many scientific books, including A Brief History of Time.
In 1970 he demonstrated that Einstein’s General Theory of Evolution showed that space and time would begin in the Big Bang and end in black holes. His radical work continued through the years and at the age of just 32 he was appointed the coveted chair of Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge – a seat held by Isaac Newton, Charles Babbage and Paul Dirac.
Outside of his academic career he made appearances onscreen through comedy shows including The Simpsons, Big Bang Theory and Red Dwarf. In 2015 there was a film made of Hawking’s life, The Theory of Everything, in which he was portrayed by Eddie Redmayne.
Arguably, the most famous scientist in the world, he was an incredible icon of the disabled community, demonstrating that disability does not affect the incredible contribution that a person can make to society.
Fellow scientists, family and friends have always payed tribute to his wicked sense of humour as well as his brilliant mind. His incredible contribution to science and humanity will be remembered by all.