Professor Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76, a spokesman for his family said.
The famed theoretical physicist died peacefully at his Cambrdige, England home early Wednesday.
In a statement Professor Hawking’s children, Lucy, Robert and Tim said: ‘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.’
The best-known theoretical physicist of his time, Hawking wrote so lucidly of the mysteries of space, time and black holes that his book, ‘A Brief History of Time,’ became an international bestseller, making him one of science’s biggest celebrities since Albert Einstein.
Even though his body was attacked by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, when Hawking was 21, he stunned doctors by living with the normally fatal illness for more than 50 years.