Stephen Hawking, 1942-2018. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Lwp Kommunikacio / Flickr
One of the greatest scientific minds of our age, Hawking passed away in the early hours of this morning.
Recognized around the world as both a scientific genius and pop-culture icon, Hawking's work in the field of cosmology, as well as his distinctive computer-generated voice, made him one of the most respected and recognizable people on the face of the planet.
Diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and given just two years to live at the age of 21, Hawking went on to defy all the odds by living a long and eventful life.
His best-selling book, 'A Brief History of Time', sold over 100 million copies and he made several appearances in TV shows such as Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Simpsons.
Most of all however, he will be remembered for his extensive contributions to science, his keen sense of humor and his indomitable determination in the face of his life-long illness.
"My goal is simple," he was quoted as saying in 'Stephen Hawking's Universe'. "It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all."
In a statement today, his three children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, paid tribute to him.
"We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today," they said. "He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years."
"His courage and persistence with 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.'"