Stephen Hawking Dies At Age 76

Professor Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76 a spokesman for his family said

As our world became less suitable for life over the next century, Professor Hawking would warn in a new documentary that future generations must forge a new existence in space.

The world renowned British scientist wrote several landmark books, including "A Brief History of Time". As his condition worsened, he had to resort to speaking through a voice synthesiser and communicating by moving his eyebrows.

Stephen William Hawking was born in Oxford, England, on January 8, 1942, exactly 300 years after the death of Italian physicist Galileo Galilei.

His work ranged from the origins of the universe itself, through the tantalising prospect of time travel to the mysteries of space's all-consuming black holes.

He went on to become a researcher at the University of Cambridge and Professorial Fellow at the Gonville and Caius College.

He was given only a few years to live after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 1963 at the age of 22.

In 1970, Hawking realised the mathematical approaches he developed with Penrose could be applied to black holes, a term coined by physicist John Wheeler.

He was a Lucasian Professor at the university from 1979 to 2009, a position previously held by Isaac Newton in 1663.

Hawking was one of former President Obama's first recipients of the Medal of Freedom, awarded because he had overcome disability to push the boundaries of science. He also authored many books on the subjects, including the best-seller "A Brief History of Time".

The 2014 movie about his life, "The Theory of Everything", was nominated for Best Picture, and Eddie Redmayne, who played Hawking, won the Oscar for Best Actor.

By 2017 Hawking was spending more time pondering humanity's future and concluding that we should plan to colonise other planets. "I am convinced that humans need to leave Earth".

Hawking separated from his wife in 1991 and married his nurse, Elaine Mason, four years later.

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