Stephen Hawking, Theoretical Physicist and Author, Dies at 76

File Renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking has died at age 76

File Renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking has died at age 76

Stephen Hawking, whose brilliant mind ranged across time and space though his body was paralyzed by disease, has died, a family spokesman said early Wednesday.

The esteemed cosmologist was a household name and inspiration across the globe because of his mental genius and physical disability.

Hawking's children, Lucy, Robert and Tim said in a statement: "We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today".

Hawking defied predictions he would only live for a few years after developing a form of motor neurone disease that left him confined to a wheelchair.

"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".

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Stephen William Hawking, though, was far from normal. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. "I think they understood most of it".

British scientist Stephen Hawking attends the launch of The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) at the University of Cambridge, in Cambridge, eastern England, on October 19, 2016.

Hawking's genius brought him global fame and he becomes known as a witty communicator dedicated to bringing science to a wider audience.

"Hawking shot to global fame after the 1988 publication of "¬ďA Brief History of Time", one of the most complex books ever to achieve mass appeal, which stayed on the Sunday Times best-sellers list for no fewer than 237 weeks.

It was followed in 2001 by "The Universe in a Nutshell".

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Conversing with Hawking was an interesting experience, often Easther and other physicists would be talking shop and Hawking would chime in on something that had been said a minute or so ago, "ping-ponging" the conversation back.

Besides books, scholarships and lectures, Hawking has made guest appearances in live action and cartoon TV shows such as "The Simpsons, " "Futurama", "The Big Bang Theory" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation".

In May last year, Hawking warned that humans should leave earth within 100 years if we wanted to survive.

FILE PHOTO: Stephen Hawking arrives at the United Kingdom premiere of the film "The Theory of Everything" which is based around his life, at a cinema in central London, Britain, December 9, 2014. Hawking married his one-time nurse Elaine Mason four years later, but the relationship was dogged by rumors of abuse. The Oscar triumph was celebrated by Hawking, who has reportedly said there were moments watching the film when he thought he was watching himself.

In November past year, Professor Hawking was more conservative in his estimates.

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