Stephen Hawking, gifted scientist, dies at 76

* Iconic scientist, Stephen Hawking was known for his groundbreaking work with black holes and relativity, and was the author of several popular science books including ‘A Brief History of Time.’

World brightest scientist, Professor Stephen Hawking has died peacefully at his home in Cambridge, aged 76.

The British scientist was diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease at 22-years-old and was given few years to live. But, he defied the odds and lived for over 50 years, going on to publish wildly popular books probing the mysteries of the universe, which includes the legendary “A Brief History of Time“.

His family released a statement in the early hours of Wednesday morning confirming his death at his home in Cambridge.

Hawking’s children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, said in a statement: “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 humour 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 for ever.”

Professor Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology as a union of relativity and quantum mechanics.

He also discovered that black holes leak energy and fade to nothing – a phenomenon that would later become known as Hawking radiation.

Hawking was considered one of the leading voices in science because of his extensive research and work related to understanding the universe.

“I never expected to reach 75, so I feel very fortunate to be able to reflect on my legacy,” Hawking said in a BBC interview last year.

He made several major discoveries throughout his career, and once said his greatest achievement was his discovery that black holes are not entirely black.

“I think my greatest achievement will be my discovery that black holes are not entirely black,” he said, adding how that discovery would be critical to “understanding how paradoxes between quantum mechanics and general relativity can be resolved.”

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