Stephen Hawking, the British physicist and author of A Brief History of Time, has passed away at the age of 76.
"He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years," according to a statement released to British media early Wednesday morning.
"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.' We will miss him for ever." The family noted that he died peacefully at his home in Cambridge, England.