Arguably the person who understood the foundation of the universe better than anyone, it offered a unique perspective to him.
For much of his time in the public eye his illness confined him to a wheelchair and, from 1985, he communicated through a computer.
The Brief History of Time author also said in an online film titled "Stephen Hawking's Favourite Places" that we would potentially be vastly inferior to an alien race which has the technology to reach Earth. "The actor, in a tribute to the late scientist said, "'We have lost a truly handsome mind, an astonishing scientist and the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet". He called him a "scientist of admirable intuition, who knew even more extraordinarily to give a human face to cosmology and to astronomy".More news: Walmart Expands Same-Day Delivery, Looks to Match Amazon
Although the man inspired millions through his books, lectures, theories and the recent biopic about his life, Professor Hawking did not believe in life after death.
Piers Morgan: "RIP Professor Stephen Hawking, 76".
In a statement, Hawking's three children declared, "We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today".
Hawking first began to notice problems with his physical health while he was at Oxford-on occasion he would trip and fall, or slur his speech-he didn't look into the problem until 1963, during his first year at Cambridge.
'I didn't fancy the thought of being handed over to the Inquisition like Galileo, ' Hawking quipped.More news: Malcolm Butler will sign with the Tennessee Titans
The response of illustrators and artists to Stephen Hawking's death, however, proves that the physicist managed to connect with ordinary people - whether it was through his work, his devotion to learning or his inspiring words. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. Hawking comes up in pop culture, most often in his guest appearances on The Big Bang Theory.
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"But one can't help asking the question: Why does the universe exist?" he said in 1991.More news: Va., Md. unemployment rates unchanged; DC falls, while Alaska the highest