The black hole physicist Stephen Hawking died at 76

The only remaining legend of physics has gone and perhaps the world's most famous scientist has now died. A spokeswoman for the Stephen Hawking family has confirmed in 76. "With great sadness we announce the death of Professor Stephen Hawking CH CBE FRS FRSA at the age of 76," a family spokesman said.

"Professor Hawking died peacefully at home in Cambridge in the early hours of the morning, and the family respectfully asked to be given time and privacy, but they want to thank all those who have been on Professor Hawking's side and support all his life," the family said.

Tinuku The black hole physicist Stephen Hawking died at 76

Hawking collaborated with Roger Penrose on a gravity singularity for prediction of black holes emitting radiation and A Brief History of Time bestsellers. The book introduces key cosmological concepts to non-academic readers and has sold over 10 million copies in 20 years.

Hawking was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) at age 21. The disease gradually weakened until paralyzed in a wheelchair and in 1985 tracheotomy removed the vocal cords. But Hawking continues to be a popular figure using a computer system that operates using cheek muscles.

"We are very sad, our beloved father died today. He is a great scientist and extraordinary man for his work and his legacy," said Hawking's children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim in a statement.