Tributes pour in for professor Stephen Hawking

Professor Stephen Hawking, one of the world's finest scientific minds, has died at the age of 76, a family spokesman said.

He died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

In a statement, his children Lucy, Robert and Tim said: "We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today."He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years."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."

At the age of 22, Hawking was told he only had a few years to live after being diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease but he beat all the odds and survived to the age of 76.

People have been taking to Twitter to pay tribute to the professor.

By Anna O'Donoghue

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