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Social media mourns the death of Stephen Hawking

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Social media mourns the death of Stephen Hawkings
Physician and author, Stephen Hawking dies at the age of 76.

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.

By Fundisiwe Maseko
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