After complications due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive neurodegenerative disease, theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawkings has passed away at 76.
The world-renowned scientist was best known for his work on black holes and the role he played in the mathematical effort to unify Einstein’s theory of relativity with quantum physics. Hawkings discussed a wide range of topics throughout his career, from the nature of philosophy and the future of the planet to the existence of extraterritorial life.
At 21 years old, Hawking was diagnosed with the debilitating motor neuron disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Initially given two years to live, Hawking survived for decades. He used an advanced computer system to communicate and a wheelchair to move around.
Despite his debilitating condition, Hawking was openly positive. “We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe, and for that, I am extremely grateful”, he once said.