World of science loses its brightest star, renowned physicist Stephen Hawking passes away
Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76 years. Professor Hawking's family has confirmed that he has passed away.
Dr Hawking died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the United Kingdom early this morning.
His family made a statement to the media a short while ago.
His family have kindly requested that they be given the time and privacy to mourn his passing, but they would like to thank everyone who has been by Professor Hawking's side - and supported him - throughout his life - Statement by Dr Stephen Hawking's family
His children Lucy, Robert and Tim have expressed their deep sorrow at his death.
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 - Lucy, Robert & Tim Hawking
Professor Hawking looked into some of the most complicated questions of life, while working under the threat of a possible premature death.
In 1963, Professor Hawking was diagnosed with motor neurone disease. He was given two years to live.
He went on to become a researcher at the University of Cambridge and Professorial Fellow at the Gonville and Caius College.
He was a Lucasian Professor at the University of Cambridge from 1979 to 2009, a position previously held by Isaac Newton in 1663.
Dr Hawking was regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Albert Einstein.
His work ranged from the origins of the universe itself, through the prospect of time travel, to the mysteries of black holes.
His body was ravaged by the wasting motor neurone disease he contracted at the age of 21 years. Dr Hawking was confined for most of his life to a wheelchair. As his condition worsened, he had to resort to speaking through a voice synthesiser and communicating by moving his eyebrows.
The disease spurred him to work harder.