Scientist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76, a spokesman for his family said.
Professor Hawking’s children, Lucy, Robert and Tim said in a statement: “We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today.
“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 forever.”
Professor Hawking died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of this morning.
The world famous physicist and cosmologist was the subject of the 2014 film The Theory Of Everything, which starred Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones.
He also performed several cameos in the US comedy series The Big Bang Theory.
Hawking contracted motor neurone disease in 1963 and was given two years to live but he went on to study at Cambridge and became one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Albert Einstein.
He was given more than a dozen honorary degrees and was awarded the CBE in 1982.