Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has died

Physicist Stephen Hawking sits on stage during an announcement of the Breakthrough Starshot initiative with investor Yuri Milner in New York April 12, 2016.
Picture: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking, whose mental genius and physical disability made him a household name and inspiration across the globe, has died at age 76, a family spokesman said Wednesday.

“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today,” professor Hawking’s children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim said in a statement carried by Britain’s Press Association news agency.

“He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.”

 Hawking defied predictions he would only live for a few years after developing a form of motor neurone disease that left him confined to a wheelchair.

“His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world,” the family said.

“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.

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