Renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking dies at 76

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British physicist Stephen Hawking has died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 76, according to a family spokesperson. Known around the globe, he worked to make complicated scientific fields accessible to the public.

Hawking died in his sleep at his home in Cambridge, dw.de reports.

The physicist suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an incurable degenerative disorder also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, which left him almost entirely paralyzed. Following throat surgery in 1985, he communicated through an electronic voice synthesizer.

Hawking was diagnosed with the motor neuron disease when he was 21. He lived with the degenerative disorder for more than 50 years, stunning doctors. Only 5 percent of people diagnosed with ALS survive for 10 years or longer, according to the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The highly respected scientist’s comments were sought for nearly every major discovery in the worlds of physics, astronomy and cosmology.

The recipient of 12 honorary degrees, Hawking was also named Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, a post held by Sir Isaac Newton over 300 years earlier.

 

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