Stephen Hawking, Acclaimed Theoretical Physicist, Passes Away at 76

Hawking will be remembered for his intellect, sharp wit and as an inspiration to scientists worldwide.

Stephen Hawking, acclaimed theoretical physicist, passed away early this morning at his home in Cambridge, England, at the age of 76.

Hawking was one of the most celebrated scientific minds of our age. He applied his intellect to answering deep questions in cosmology, general relativity, quantum mechanics and more, and his discovery that black holes emit radiation (appropriately dubbed Hawking radiation) changed the way physicists understand gravity.

But Hawking didn’t just make fundamental breakthroughs in our understanding of the universe. He was also a great ambassador of science—probably one of the most well-known scientists in the world. He wrote several books that share science with the world, most notably A Brief History of Time, the bestseller that describes how the universe works to a non-technical audience.

Lauded by both the public and his peers, Hawking was decorated with honors. In 1974, he was one of the youngest scientists to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. His many awards read as a who’s who of physics prestige: the Eddington Medal, the Maxwell Medal and Prize, the Albert Einstein Award and the Dirac Medal are just a small fraction of his scientific accolades. In 2009, he was presented with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honour. In 2016, the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication was established to honor members of the arts community that Hawking believed to have helped build an awareness of science.

Hawking is survived by his three children, Robert, Lucy, and Timothy. With his daughter Lucy, Hawking published a children’s fiction series to inspire young scientific minds, beginning with George’s Secret Key to the Universe in 2007.

Although the world lost one of its brightest minds today, Stephen Hawking’s legacy of scientific achievements is unquestionable. He will be remembered for his incisive intellect, his sharp wit and as an inspiration to scientists around the world.

Written by

Michael Alba

Michael is a senior editor at He covers computer hardware, design software, electronics, and more. Michael holds a degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Alberta.