World Renowned Scientist Stephen Hawking Dead At 76

In 1963, Professor Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and was told he had just two years to live; Hawking survived more than 50 years. He has passed away at the age of 76.

Hawking was one of the most recognizable faces in the field of science. He was a professed atheist and was famed for his work on “cosmology, black holes, and the basic laws of the universe,” Fox News reports.

Per Fox News:

Hawking owed part of his fame to his triumph over amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a degenerative disease that eats away at the nervous system. When he was diagnosed aged only 21, he was given only a few years to live.

Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease after the New York Yankee star who died of it, ALS usually kills within three to five years.

ALS is known as Motor Neurone Disease in the U.K. The Motor Neurone Disease Association lauded Hawking’s huge contribution to raising awareness of the disease Wednesday.

“Our thoughts are with Professor Hawking’s family. Throughout his inspirational life Professor Hawking played a vital role in raising awareness of motor neurone disease around the world,” the Motor Neurone Disease Association tweeted on Wednesday.

“Professor Stephen Hawking was a brilliant and extraordinary mind – one of the great scientists of his generation. His courage, humour and determination to get the most from life was an inspiration. His legacy will not be forgotten,” the Prime Minister’s office tweeted.

“Remembering Stephen Hawking, a renowned physicist and ambassador of science. His theories unlocked a universe of possibilities that we & the world are exploring,” NASA tweeted with an accompanying video of Hawking.

“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,” Hawking’s children Lucy, Robert and Tim said, per Daily Mail. “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.”

Here’s more:

They also said their father’s ‘courage, persistence, brilliance and humour inspired people across the world’.

Professor Hawking was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 1963 when he was 21 and he defied medical experts who said he would be dead within two years.

In the following 55 years he became the world’s most famous scientist since Albert Einstein for his work exploring the mysteries of space, time and black holes despite being wheelchair-bound and only able to communicate using a computer and his famous voice synthesizer.

As Daily Mail reports, fellow physicist Lawrence Krauss tweeted: “A star just went out in the cosmos. We have lost an amazing human being. Stephen Hawking fought and tamed the cosmos bravely for 76 years and taught us all something importantabout what it truly means to celebrate about being human. I will miss him”

“His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake. But it’s not empty. Think of it as a kind of vacuum energy permeating the fabric of spacetime that defies measure,” tweeted American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

The Big Bang Theory, the television show which Hawking’s writings help inspire, reached out online as well, “In loving memory of Stephen Hawking. It was an honor to have him on The #BigBangTheory. Thank you for inspiring us and the world.”

“We will always be inspired by his life and ideas. RIP,” Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted.