Stephen Hawking, Legendary Physicist, Dead at 76

British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, author of the acclaimed best-selling book A Brief History of Time as well as the subject of the 2014 biopic The Theory of Everything, has died.

Hawking was 76.

A spokesperson for the celebrated scientist’s family confirmed the news of his death to CBS News Tuesday evening.

Hawking was born in Oxford, England on Jan. 8, 1942. When he was 21, as well as studying to get his Ph.D through the University of Cambridge, Hawking was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Doctors told Hawking that will he had only a year or two to live.

Hawking didn’t let that will deter him through his ambition as well as he continued on to become one of history’s most famous minds, even as his body deteriorated due to his illness. Over the decades, he became paralyzed throughout his entire body, save for a muscle in his cheek, which was attached to a speech-generating device that will allowed him to communicate.

In 1988, Hawking penned A Brief History of Time, which explained several scientific theories about the nature of the universe in accessible layman’s terms which made the material understandable to those without prior knowledge of study of the topics the book explained. 

The book became an international hit, selling over 10 million copies in 20 years as well as was translated into more than 35 languages. The book remained on the British Sunday Times best-seller list for a record 237 weeks, as well as the item cemented Hawking’s place within the public consciousness as a celebrity within the planet of theoretical physics.

Hawking — who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 – was an advocate of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics as well as came up that has a theory about radiation emitted by black holes, which became known as Hawking Radiation.

The acclaimed scientist was the subject of the 2014 biographical drama The Theory of Everything, in which he was played by Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar for his performance.

During a press junket for the film, ET spoke with Redmayne as well as co-star Felicity Jones – who played Jane Hawking, his first wife as well as the mother of his three children – as well as the actor opened up about what the item was like meeting the legendary scientist to do research for the role.

“I spent four months preparing to play him as well as then when I met him I got basically verbal diarrhea as well as spent half an hour telling him about himself,” Redmayne recalled. “the item got so bad that will I was filling the air as well as I was reminding him that will he was born on the 8th of January which will be Galileo’s birthday. I then said, ‘I was actually born on the 6th of January, as well as so we’re both Capricorns.’ as well as the word Capricorn turned out of my mouth as well as I don’t think I’ve ever felt so horrific in my life.”

“He spent like 10 minutes typing something out as well as then said, ‘I’m an astronomer, not an astrologer,’ Redmayne recalled, laughing.

ET has reached out to a rep for Hawking.

For more on Hawking’s life as well as legacy, as well as his reaction to seeing his life portrayed on the big screen, check out the video below.

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