Stephen Hawking, legendary physicist and author of scientific books like A Brief History of Time, has passed away at the age of 76.

Stephen Hawking’s family has issued a statement saying that the famed scientist passed away peacefully in his Cambridge home in the early morning on Wednesday. The physicist suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, which is a rare neurodegenerative disease that is usually fatal within a few years of diagnosis. Diagnosed at age 21, Hawking went on to live for decades, making huge advancements the scientific community during that time.

In addition to earning his own, traditional academic degrees, Hawking had around 12 honorary degrees and was awarded the CBE (Commander in the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in 1982. The CBE isn’t just a huge honor for British citizens, it’s also considered to be one rank below becoming a knight.

And while Hawking’s work was groundbreaking, that wasn’t the only thing that made him so well-loved by people within and without math and science fields. Hawking also had a love for pop culture and starred as himself in a wide range of shows like The Simpsons, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and The Big Bang Theory.

Upon hearing of Hawking’s death, many have taken to social media to share their love, appreciation, and thankfulness for everything that Hawking did for the scientific community and the world at large. Hawking’s colleague, Neil deGrasse Tyson spoke of the vacuum left by Hawking’s passing.

NASA also took to Twitter to not only honor Hawking’s passing but to acknowledge the huge advancements and endless possibilities that Hawking’s work made in the field of space travel.

Stephen Hawking was a huge inspiration for so many of us, inspiring us to explore all of the secrets of the universe that we could possibly uncover. He was a hero to many, and a trailblazer in his field. Neil deGrasse Tyson was right, his passing has absolutely left a vaccum, and he will be very missed.

How has Stephen Hawking’s work inspired you?

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