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‘An extraordinary man whose legacy will live on’ – Professor Stephen Hawking dies at 76

PUBLISHED: 07:13 14 March 2018 | UPDATED: 08:57 14 March 2018

Professor Stephen Hawking visiting Kesgrave Community Centre in 2016. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Professor Stephen Hawking visiting Kesgrave Community Centre in 2016. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

One of the greatest scientific minds of our time, Professor Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76.

Professor Stephen Hawking addressed the Headway Suffolk Conference at BT Adastral Park. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNProfessor Stephen Hawking addressed the Headway Suffolk Conference at BT Adastral Park. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

In a statement, his children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, said: “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.

“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.”

Prof Hawking gave an inspiring talk to Headway Suffolk’s Neuro Conference at BT Adastral Park in October 2016.

After the speech, he visited Kesgrave Community Centre, which was hosting a secondary Headway Suffolk event for those unable to get tickets for the sold-out conference.

After being diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease in 1964, at the age of 22, he was given just a few years to live.

Yet, against all odds, Prof Hawking celebrated his 70th birthday nearly half a century later as one of the most brilliant and famous scientists of the modern age.

Despite being almost completely paralysed and unable to speak, except through a voice synthesiser, he wrote a numerous scientific papers that earned him comparisons with Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton.

At the same time, he embraced popular culture with enthusiasm and humour, appearing in The Simpsons and Star Trek, and providing the voice-over for a British Telecom commercial that was later sampled on rock band Pink Floyd’s The Division Bell album.

His rise to fame and relationship with his first wife, Jane, was dramatised in a 2014 film, The Theory Of Everything, in which Eddie Redmayne put in an Oscar-winning performance as the physicist battling with a devastating illness.

He was best known for his work on black holes his crowning achievement being the prediction that black holes could emit energy, despite the classical view that not even light could escape their gravity.

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