Physicist Stephen Hawking dead at 76

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 9:01 AM EDT

Originally posted: 12:05 a.m., Wednesday, March 14, 2018

One of the most brilliant minds of our time has passed away. Stephen Hawking died early Wednesday morning after 76 years living an incredible life.

  • Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with ALS in his 20s
  • Hawking stunned doctors by living over 50 years

Hawking was known in the science world for his revolutionary theoretical work on black holes and cosmology and to the rest of the world an inspiration in so many areas.

The best-known theoretical physicist of his time, Hawking wrote so lucidly of the mysteries of space, time and black holes that his book, "A Brief History of Time,'' became an international bestseller, making him one of science's biggest celebrities since Albert Einstein.

He was born on Jan. 8, 1942, which happens to be 300 years to the day after astronomer and physicist Galileo died.

When he was 21 years old, Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, but he stunned doctors by living with the normally fatal illness for more than 50 years and communicated through an electronic voice synthesizer that he controlled with his face muscles.

The dedications people are putting out for him online seem as endless as the universe.

His three children Lucy, Robert, and Tim released a statement.

"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."

Hawking was not just known as a man of science, but also a man of philosophy.


The Associated Press contributed to this story.