Physicist Stephen Hawking Dies At Age 76 After Living With ALS For Over 50 Years

Professor Stephen Hawking is pictured during a visit to Cape Finisterre, some 90 km from Santiago, northwestern Spain on September 25, 2008. The name of Cape Finisterre derives from the Latin name Finisterrae, which literally means "Land's End" and is the final destination for many pilgrims on the Way of St. James.  AFP PHOTO/MIGUEL RIOPA (Photo credit should read MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)

Physicist Stephen Hawking Dies At Age 76 After Living With ALS For Over 50 Years

Neil deGrasse Tyson said the physicist "has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake."

Published March 14th

The infamous theoretical physicist and innovator Stephen Hawking died at age 76 in his home in Cambridge, England,  according to his family.

“He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years,” his children Lucy, Robert and Tim said in a statement. “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.”

At age 21, Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease that effects the nervous system, weakening muscles and impacting physical function. Although doctors did not expect him to live to see age 25, he lived with the fatal disease for over 50 years.

Eventually, a severe attack of pneumonia forced him to breathe through a tube and communicate through an electronic voice synthesizer.

  1. Hawking's family has requested privacy in this time of mourning
  2. Barack Obama shared a photo from his meeting with Hawking at the white house
  3. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted a thoughtful tribute to Hawking
  4. Hawking was a beloved figure not only for science but all humanity

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)

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