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Stephen Hawking died at the age of 76 years old, according to his family.
The globally-recognized theoretical physicist revolutionized science's understanding of black holes and relativity. In more recent years, Hawking had been a proponent of expansive space travel and had been very open with his thoughts on artificial intelligence.
His children Lucy, Robert and Tim made this statement to the press:
"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."
Hawking wrote one of the most influential and popular science books, A Brief History of Time, which sold more than 10 million copies. His life was featured in award-winning biopic The Theory of Everything.
Hawking suffered motor neurone disease which was discovered just before marrying his first wife Jane. Doctors gave him just two or three years to live in 1964. However, given the slow progression of the disease, Hawking was able to have his three children, and his disease never seemed to impair his mind. Hawking continued to lecture and write commentary on scientific discoveries despite being almost completely paralyzed.
"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," his children said.
Hawking also left a wide mark on the scientific community at large. Fellow astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said that Hawking's passing "left an intellectual vacuum in his wake."
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. Stephen Hawking, RIP 1942-2018. pic.twitter.com/nAanMySqkt— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) March 14, 2018
The physicist also made a couple of guest appearances on the popular TV show Big Bang Theory. The cast tweeted out a picture of him from the show:
In loving memory of Stephen Hawking. It was an honor to have him on The #BigBangTheory. Thank you for inspiring us and the world. pic.twitter.com/9rWoYqIToy— The Big Bang Theory (@bigbangtheory) March 14, 2018
Another iconic guest appearance included his stint on the animated television show The Simpsons. Executive Producer Matt Selman tweeted out this frame from the episode:
Farewell to Stephen Hawking, the most intelligent guest star in the brief history of The Simpsons pic.twitter.com/po3fIHgEdh— Matt Selman (@mattselman) March 14, 2018
Interesting Engineering will continue updating this story as more information becomes available.