World-renowned physicist and author Stephen Hawking passed away on Wednesday, 14 March 2018 at his home in Cambridge, England at the age of 76.
As a graduate student in 1963, Hawking learned that he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neuromuscular wasting disease also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was given only a few years to live.
The disease reduced his bodily control to the flexing of a finger and voluntary eye movements, but left his mental faculties untouched. He was confined for most of his life to a wheelchair. As his condition worsened, he had to resort to speaking through a voice synthesiser.
Hawking shot to international fame after the 1988 publication of A Brief History of Time, one of the most complex books ever to achieve mass appeal, which stayed on the Sunday Times best-sellers list for no fewer than 237 weeks. According to Hawking, the book was written to convey his own excitement over recent discoveries about the universe.
“My original aim was to write a book that would sell on airport bookstalls,” he told reporters at the time. “In order to make sure it was understandable I tried the book out on my nurses. I think they understood most of it.” the physicist said.
The world has reached out to Twitter in order to express condolences to the family.
Remembering Stephen Hawking, a renowned physicist and ambassador of science. His theories unlocked a universe of possibilities that we & the world are exploring. May you keep flying like superman in microgravity, as you said to astronauts on @Space_Station in 2014 pic.twitter.com/FeR4fd2zZ5
— NASA (@NASA) March 14, 2018
We were on earth at the same time as Stephen Hawking.
That's kind of a miraculous thing.
We breathed the same air as the man who demystified the stars.
— Geraldine (@everywhereist) March 14, 2018
— BBC (@BBC) March 14, 2018
Stephen Hawking died today… March 14. RIP..
Einstein was born on March 14.
They both died when they were 76.
— Dominic DeAngelis (@DOMtheB0MB) March 14, 2018
Prof. Stephen Hawking made reading & understanding science simple. He opened up complex areas for simple comprehension. His life’s struggles persisted but he didn’t allow that to hamper his contribution to his specialized domain. Inspirational. #stephanhawking
— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) March 14, 2018
RIP Stephen Hawking, it’s so sad waking up & seeing this.. But forever grateful for everything you gave us & left us & learned us. Be the way you are up there, make some magic with Einstein now. You were the example of a magnificent mind & a child who was never grown up. Legend.
— Darko Grncarov (@DarkoGrncarov) March 14, 2018
“It matters if you just don’t give up.” Remembering Stephen Hawking.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) March 14, 2018
Extraordinary to think doctors gave Stephen Hawking no more than three years to live when he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease aged 22. He lived for another 54 years. #RIPStevenHawking pic.twitter.com/uaS7Gynbhf
— Ben Smith (@BSmith) March 14, 2018
— venkat prabhu (@vp_offl) March 14, 2018
'The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge' – Stephen Hawking pic.twitter.com/fVJ06rxY0y
— Prof Thuli Madonsela (@ThuliMadonsela3) March 14, 2018