The world lost an incredible mind early this morning, world renowned British physicist and author Stephen Hawking has passed away at age 76, peacefully at his home in Cambridge, according to BBC News.

Born in 1942 in Oxford, England, Hawking was famous for a vast body of scientific work included the theory of cosmology, a marriage of relativity and quantum mechanics, his work with black holes and penned several respected scientific books including 'A Brief History of Time', which to date has sold over 10 million copies.

At just 22 years old, Hawking was given just a few years to live, after being diagnosed with a rare for of a motor neuron disease. The illness left him in a wheelchair, unable to verbal communicate, except through a voice synthesizer.

The scientist gained popularity in pop culture as well as the academic world, appearing in several television shows including 'The Simpsons' and 'The Big Bang Theory'.

In a statement from his children, given to the BBC, they 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.'


They praised his "courage and persistence" and said 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.

Getty Images