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RIP Stephen Hawking, world’s most famous scientist

Stephen Hawking
British physicist Stephen Hawking, shown here delivering a speech at George Washington University in 2008, has passed away at the age of 76. (NASA Photo / Paul E. Alers)

Stephen Hawking, the British physicist who became famous for his way-out theories and for overcoming debilitating disease, has died at the age of 76, his children said in a statement tonight.

“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today,” according to the statement, which was distributed by British news media and attributed to Lucy, Robert and Timothy Hawking. “He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.”

The statement said Hawking died peacefully in his home near Cambridge University.

“His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humor inspired people across the world,” the children said. “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.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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