At the age of 76, Stephen Hawking has died in his home in his native England. He leaves behind three children, daughter Lucy, a journalist and writer, and sons Robert and Tim.
The former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge was married twice. After separating from his first wife, Jane, Hawking fell for Elaine Mason who was his caregiver.
Mr. Hawking, a theoretical physicist and cosmologist, was a beloved expert who was as well-known and respected in the scientific community as in pop culture.
He appeared on shows like The Simpsons, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and multiple times on The Big Bang Theory. The British man was one the most brilliant minds to walk this earth.
Hawking collaborated with fellow physicist Roger Penrose to merge Albert Einstein‘s theory of relativity with quantum theory to come up with the following explanation about space and time: they began with the Big Bang and ended in black holes.
After news of Hawking’s passing broke, another accomplished scientist and mega TV star, Neil deGrasse Tyson paid tribute to him in the following message: “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.”
Hawking, who is believed to have changed human thinking on gravity, was remembered by NASA in a post that read:
Remembering Stephen Hawking, a renowned physicist and ambassador of science. His theories unlocked a universe of possibilities that we & the world are exploring. May you keep flying like superman in microgravity, as you said to astronauts on @Space_Station in 2014 pic.twitter.com/FeR4fd2zZ5
— NASA (@NASA) March 14, 2018
Renowned engineer and retired astronaut Scott Kelly penned a brief note that summarized the sad moment. Kelly tweeted: “A loss for all humanity. #RIP Stephen Hawking.”
The late scientist was a prolific author, who devoted himself to writing books, (A Brief History of Time and The Universe in a Nutshell), that would introduce cosmology to average readers.
Hawking also caused many controversies through the years. In the political world, he made headlines by protesting against the Vietnam War and said that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a “war crime.”
He supported stem cell research, pushed universal health care, and believed that climate change is real.
He also angered people who are Christians and believe in Jesus Christ by saying that “the universe is governed by the laws of science.”
He lived an astonishing life while being wheelchair-bound and speaking through a computer due to ALS.
According to some reports, Hawking’s cause of death may be due to his long battle with ALS.