- English physicist Stephen Hawking died on Wednesday morning, March 14
- He was 76 years old
- His family did not release details surrounding his death but said he died peacefully at his home
World renowned physicist, genius and author Stephen Hawking has passed away early Wednesday morning. He was 76 years old.
Hawking, the English author of ‘A Brief History of Time’, according to BBC, died peacefully at his home in Cambridge.
Hawking was born on January 8, 1942 in Oxford, Oxfordshire to an English father and a Scottish mother; both of whom attended the University of Oxford. His father, Frank, read medicine, while his mother, Isobel read Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
The Hawking family is considered highly intelligent and somewhat eccentric, where meals “were often spent with each person silently reading a book”.
He was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 1962 and fell into depression while on his graduate years on cosmology at Cambridge University. However, after an encouragement from Dennis William Sciama, one of the founders of modern cosmology, and realizing his disease was progressing slower than doctors predicted, Hawking returned to his research work.
Two years later, he married his first wife, Jane Wilde. The couple had two children. After their divorce, Hawking married his nurse, Elaine Mason in 1995, only to divorce her again in 2007.
He was the Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge, and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). He is also a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.
His ‘A Brief History of Time’, published in 1988, is considered as one of the most complex books ever to achieve mass appeal. It has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and was in Sunday Times bestseller list for at least 237 weeks.
The family has declined to give more details surrounding Hawking’s death but released 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,” the family said.
“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.’ We will miss him forever.”