Nobel Prize-winning scientist Stephen Hawking dies at 76

Rodiano Bonacci
Marzo 14, 2018

One of the world's greatest scientists and finest minds, Professor Stephen Hawking, has died at the age of 76.

He died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

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.' We will miss him forever".

The British theoretical physicist 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.

Born in 1942, Hawking was diagnosed at the age of 21 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, which resulted in his being confined to a wheelchair almost his entire life.

FILE PHOTO: Stephen Hawking arrives at the United Kingdom premiere of the film "The Theory of Everything" which is based around his life, at a cinema in central London, Britain, December 9, 2014.

Richard Green, of the Motor Neurone Disease Association - the British name for ALS - said Hawking met the classic definition of the disease, as "the flawless mind trapped in an imperfect body".

Besides books, scholarships and lectures, Hawking has made guest appearances in live action and cartoon TV shows such as "The Simpsons, " "Futurama", "The Big Bang Theory" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation".

He was confined to a wheelchair by the time he was 30, and in 1986, aged 44, his voice was removed to save his life after an attack of pneumonia. In fact, Hawking's work suggests that an isolated black hole would slowly evaporate away and cease to exist. "He was brilliant and was one of the top scientists in the 20th Century".

Born on January 8, 1942 - 300 years to the day after the death of the father of modern science, Galileo Galilei - he believed science was his destiny. In 1959, he entered Oxford University and then went on to graduate work at Cambridge. The disease usually kills within three to five years.

He leaves behind a wife, Lucy, and two sons, Robert and Tim.

He was a Lucasian Professor at the university from 1979 to 2009, a position previously held by Isaac Newton in 1663.

Hawking divorced Jane in 1991, an acrimonious split that strained his relationship with their children. Hawking married his one-time nurse Elaine Mason four years later, but the relationship was dogged by rumors of abuse.

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

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