London (dpa) - Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking died early Wednesday at the age of 76, his family said in a statement, adding that the professor died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Cambridge.
"We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. Hewas a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacywill live on for many years," his children Lucy, Robert and Tim said.
"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."