British physicist Stephen Hawking has died peacefully at his home in Cambridge, England during the early hours of this morning at age 76. “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 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,” said professor Hawking’s children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim said in a statement carried by Britain’s Press Association news agency. Continue reading for a fascinating documentary and more information.
“Hawking was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, or ALS, at the age of 21. The debilitating illness gradually paralyzed him, confining him to a wheelchair, and in 1985 a tracheotomy robbed him of his voice. But Hawking continued to be a hugely prominent and popular public figure through the use of his computer-aided speech system, which required painstaking operation by a single cheek muscle,” reports The Verge.