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British scientist Stephen Hawking dies at age 76

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    Renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking, who helped unlock the mysteries of the universe, has died at the age of 76, the UK Press Association has reported citing a spokesman for the family.

    In a statement on Wednesday, his children paid tribute to their father – saying he was an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.

    “We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today,” professor Hawking’s children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim said in a statement carried by Press Association news agency.

    Hawking’s mental genius and physical disability made him a household name and inspiration across the globe.

    His 1988 book “A Brief History of Time” became an unlikely worldwide bestseller.

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

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