“People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.”- Stephen Hawking

Renowned British scientist Stephen Hawking (76), who overcame a debilitating disease to publish wildly popular books probing the mysteries of the universe, has died. His family confirmed he died peacefully at home in Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom this morning.

The physicist rose to international fame in the 1980s after the publication of his book ‘A Brief History of Time‘. He was considered to be the world’s greatest living scientist. Apart from being an author and physicist, Hawking was also a cosmologist, astronomer and  mathematician.

With fellow physicist Roger Penrose, Hawking merged Einstein’s theory of relativity with quantum theory to suggest that space and time would begin with the Big Bang and end in black holes. Hawking also discovered that black holes are not completely black but emit radiation and will likely eventually evaporate and disappear.

He was married twice, first to Jane Wilde from 1965 – 1995 and the second time to Elaine Mason from 1995 – 2006.

Hawking was 22-years-old when he was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a rare form of motor neuron disease. At the time, doctors gave him only a few years to live. His condition meant Hawking was confined to a wheelchair and relied on a voice synthesiser to communicate. ALS reduced his bodily control to the flexing of a finger and voluntary eye movements only but left his mental faculties in tact. He didn’t let this stop him, if anything it propelled him to do more.

Shortly  after he turned 65, he participated in a zero-gravity flight on a specially equipped Boeing 727. The padded aircraft flies a roller-coaster trajectory to produce sudden periods of weightlessness. He did this in the hope that he would make a trip into space  aboard Richard Branson’s VirginGalactic SpaceShipTwo.

After his experience, Hawking said, “I want to show that people need not be limited by physical handicaps as long as they are not disabled in spirit.”

The scientist became famous outside the academic world, appearing on several TV shows including The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory.

In 2014, he was portrayed in the movie The Theory of Everything, starring Oscar winner, Eddie Redmayne.

Following his death, his three children 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.”

Many are mourning his lost.

Pictures: Facebook and Twitter

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