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Stephen Hawking passes away at 76 years old

Cambridge, United Kingdom-- Acclaimed British Physicist Stephen Hawking died early Wednesday morning at 76-years-old.

Hawking was widely considered the world's greatest living scientist and also a figure in popular culture.

He lived with ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease since 1963, when he was diagnosed at the age of 21 while attending Oxford University.

After that he spent much of his life confined to a wheelchair and relied on a speech synthesizer to speek for him.

Hawking's landmark book "A Brief History of Time" which explained astrophysics in laymen terms has sold more than 10 million copies to date.

He leaves behind three children and three grandchildren.