The world lost a great man today. Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76. The British physicist and cosmologist is famous for his scientific works on black holes, relativity, and quantum mechanics. He also authored a best-selling book called “A Brief History of Time,” which explained astronomy and modern physics to the common masses.
He is survived by three children and three grandchildren. Hawking married twice and was also divorced twice.
In a statement, Stephen’s children said:
“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 forever.”
Hawking contracted amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1963, when he was only 21 years old. Doctors told him that he had only two years to live but he buckled the odds to live for another 55. Hawking was later bound to a wheelchair as he slowly lost control over his muscles. Thanks to advances in technology, however, he was still able to speak and communicate using a computer and a speech-generating device.
His disability didn’t prevent him from achieving great things. He went on to become a Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian award.
Although Stephen Hawking is famous for his contributions to physics and astronomy, he also has wide-ranging views on politics, religion, and the future of humanity. He opposed the Vietnam War, called himself an atheist, and believed that super-intelligent artificial intelligence (AI) is a threat to mankind.
Farewell, Mr. Hawking, and thank you for making this world a better place. You will be missed.