Stephen Hawking, Superstar Physicist, Dies at 76

Stephen Hawking has died aged 76

Stephen Hawking has died aged 76

A spokesman for Hawking's family also confirmed the news to the BBC.

He was the first academic to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics.

At a talk, Professor Hawking gave a one-hour whirlwind history of man's understanding of the origin of the universe from primordial creation myths to the most cutting edge predictions made by "M-theory". As his condition worsened, he had to resort to speaking through a voice synthesiser and communicating by moving his eyebrows.

He then graduated with first-class honours in natural science at Oxford's University College.

While visiting Seattle, Stephen Hawking was asked how he'd describe his quality of life in light of his long struggle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

In 1970, Hawking realised the mathematical approaches he developed with Penrose could be applied to black holes, a term coined by physicist John Wheeler.

For 30 years, Hawking was Cambridge's Lucasian professor of mathematics, a chair once held by Isaac Newton. In 2009, President Barack Obama awarded Hawking with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The title "A Brief History of Time" was subsequently used for a 1991 documentary about Hawking himself, directed by Errol Morris with music by Philip Glass.

Stephen Hawking, a genius who dedicated his life to unlocking the secrets of the Universe.

Hawking was the subject of the Oscar-winning film The Theory of Everything in 2014, which depicted his life at Cambridge University. The couple split after 25 years and he married his former nurse, Elaine Mason, but the union broke down amid allegations, denied by him, of abuse.

"We are running out of space, and the only place we can go to are other worlds", he told a gathering of scientists. Spreading out may be the only thing that saves us from ourselves.