Stephen Hawking, the iconic English theoretical physicist, has died. He was 76.
Hawking died in the early hours of Wednesday morning at his home in Cambridge, England, his children—Lucy, Robert, and Tim—said in a statement, according to The Guardian.
“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,” his children said. “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 renowned scientist was known for his contributions to the study of the universe, from the origins of the cosmos to the mysterious nature of black holes. Hawking’s career spanned more than five decades and refused to slow down even as a debilitating neurological disease gradually paralyzed him and confined him to a wheelchair. The longtime Cambridge professor was known for roaming the campus grounds in his electric chair, dashing from one engagement to another and speaking in the deadpan, robotic voice of his speech synthesizer.
Hawking’s classic work, A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes, published in 1988, has sold more than 10 million copies.