Famed scientist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76, confirmed his family. The British theoretical physicist and cosmologist was best known for his work on black holes, relativity, quantum physics and the philosophy of science. His book, A Brief History of Time, is one of the best-selling science books of all time.

Professor Hawking’s children Lucy, Robert and Tim 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 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,” they added.

Hawking passed away in his home in Cambridge from complications due to ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a debilitating motor neuron disease that he was diagnosed with at the age of 21.

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