Stephen Hawking, modern cosmology's brightest star, dies aged 76

Federico Mansilla
Marcha 14, 2018

This story will be updated as new information becomes available. "He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years", the family said in a statement.

They praised his "courage and persistence" and said 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".

Doctors expected Hawking to only live for a few years after his diagnoses at age 21, but he lived with this condition for over 5 decades. He relies on an elaborate computer system to communicate, which he access with a switch he moves with his cheek.

He studied at Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy before coming to the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics in 1979 as a Lucasian Professor, a title once held by Isaac Newton, until 2009.

For Hawking, the search was nearly a religious quest - he said finding a "theory of everything" would allow mankind to "know the mind of God".

Hawking studied the complex nature of the black hole, using it as a "mathematical laboratory to understand the deep mysteries of the universe".

In later years, though, he suggested a unified theory might not exist. His 1988 book "A Brief History of Time" sought to explain to non-scientists the fundamental theories of the universe and it became an worldwide bestseller, bringing him global acclaim. "It is the joy of discovering something no one knew before". "But it bothers me".

The book became an worldwide bestseller, and made Hawking one of science's biggest celebrities since Albert Einstein.

According to the BBC, the 2014 film The Theory of Everything is based on Hawkings' wife, Jane's account of their courtship and marriage.

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Because of ALS, Hawking was bound to wheelchair. "My goal is simple", he once said. I have been down in a submarine, and up in a zero-gravity flight in preparation for the flight into space that I'm hoping to make on Virgin Galactic. "Some say it has yet to appear on planet Earth".

However, in 1974, he theorized what is now known as Hawking radiation, the radical notion that matter can escape from the grip of a black hole. "It really was quite revolutionary". "He was brilliant and was one of the top scientists in the 20th Century".

Hawking studied the laws of time and space, becoming an global celebrity in the process. Hawking was born in England in 1942. In 1959, he entered Oxford University and then went on to graduate work at Cambridge. But Hawking had a form of the disease that progressed more slowly than usual.

British physicist Stephen Hawking, shown here delivering a speech at George Washington University in 2008, has passed away at the age of 76. But as it became apparent that he was not going to die soon, his spirits recovered and he bore down on his work.

While studying time, he has survived the ravages of an incurable disease. Hawking, he added, "really is at the extreme end of the scale when it comes to survival".

One of his sons, Robert, has worked as a software engineer at Microsoft. He also requires constant care. His other children are Lucy Hawking and Timothy Hawking. Writing in her autobiographical "Music to Move the Stars", she said the strain of caring for Hawking for almost three decades had left her feeling like "a brittle, empty shell". The couple split after 25 years and he married his former nurse, Elaine Mason, but the union broke down amid allegations, denied by him, of abuse.

Hawking called the charges "completely false". After a tracheostomy in 1985, Hawking lost the ability to speak.

"I accept that there are some things I can't do", he told The Associated Press in 1997.

In the book he related how he was first diagnosed: "I felt it was very unfair - why should this happen to me".

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