Stephen Hawking, the internationally famous theoretical physicist who had survived with a rare form of ALS for 50 years that left him incapacitated, leading to his distinctive form of mechanical communication, has died.
Hawking's family confirmed his death on March 14 at the age of 76.
The scientist became an international celebrity with the 1988 publication of his best-selling book A Brief History of Time.
Hawking, whose work included radiation emissions by black holes and advanced cosmology, won many awards and honors for his work, including the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, presented to him by Barack Obama in 2009. His outspoken views on the existence of other worlds and on impending doom for human life made him a pop-culture figure as well-known as a movie star.
In 2014, the film The Theory of Everything, starring Eddie Redmayne as Hawking, was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor (which it won), Best Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score. It depicted Hawking's genius and his unconventional romantic life, as well as his rise to prominence as a liberal thinker.
Hawking is survived by three children and three grandchildren.
RIP to a great man.