English physicist, cosmologist and author Stephen Hawking dead at 76

Professor Stephen Hawking passed away in the early hours of Wednesday morning, it has been confirmed.

In a statement provided by his family, the English theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author is said to have died peacefully at his home in Cambridge.

“His family have kindly requested that they be given the time and privacy to mourn his passing, but they would like to thank everyone who has been by Professor Hawking’s side — and supported him — throughout his life,” the statement said.

“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.”

Despite given two years to live with a diagnosis of moto neurone disease in 1964, the celebrated professor went on to become a researcher at the University of Cambridge and Professorial Fellow at the Gonville and Caius College.

Via ABC News.