Stephen Hawking, a world-renowned astronomer and Astro physicist, passed away at age 76 in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Hawking was not only one of the greatest minds we have ever seen, he was an inspirational man after living with a rare early-onset, slow-progressing form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for years.
The scientist was diagnosed with the disease when he was just 21 years old and was given just two years to live.
Despite his physical shell failing him, he was able to thrive.
Along with being a theoretical physicist, Hawking was a cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge.
Hawkings’ book, A Brief History of Time, was atop the British Sunday Times best-seller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks.
According to many estimates, Hawking has a net worth of $20 million.
Following his death, many fellow scientists paid tribute to his life and work.
“A star just went out in the cosmos,” Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and cosmologist, wrote on Twitter. “We have lost an amazing human being.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson also commented on Twitter, writing “His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake. But it’s not empty. Think of it as a kind of vacuum energy permeating the fabric of spacetime that defies measure.”
Hawking passed away peacefully at his home in Cambridge, England, according to his family.
“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,” his children Lucy, Robert, and Tim wrote in a statement.
“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.”