The British Physicist, Stephen Hawking Died at 76

The renowned British Physicist, Author and Cosmologist Stephen Hawking has been confirmed by a family spokesman dead at 76. Hawking suffered from ALS (amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) a neurodegenerative disease commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease; he was diagnosed in 1963 (Age 21) and was predicted by doctors to have few years to live more.

He authored a book in the year 1988 titled “A Brief History of Time” which had over 10 million copies sold; making him a household name and inspiration in the field of Science Discovery.

The disease Hawking suffered made him wheelchair-bound and paralyzed till he died; he was just able to move only a few fingers on one hand and was completely dependent on other people or technology for virtually everything which includes bathing, dressing, eating and speaking. He used a speech synthesizer that allowed him to speak in a computerized American-accent voice.

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking and his speech synthesizer

According to what he wrote on his website “I try to lead as normal a life as possible and not think about my condition or regret things it prevents me from doing which are not that many”; he also wrote that “I have been lucky that my condition has progressed more slowly than is often the case but it shows that one need not to lose hope”.

The genius physicist died at his home in the British University City of Cambridge in the early hours of today. Professor Hawking’s children- Lucy, Robert and Tim said in a statement reported by Britain’ Press Association News Agency “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”. The family also said “ His courage and persistence with 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”.

Hawking received numerous awards and honours in his days; among were the 2015 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Basic Sciences shared with Viatcheslav Mukhanov for discovering that the galaxies were formed from quantum fluctuations in the Universe, 2016 Pride of Britain Awards, a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to Science and British culture. He also had 7 books to his name, co-authored 9 books; featured in about 14 films and series which include The Theory of Everything (2014) and many published academic works.

Hawking was married twice, Jane Wilde while still in grad student and was together for 30 years and later married Elaine Mason, one of his former nurses for 11 years.  He is survived by children and grandchildren.


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