One of the greatest minds of the modern age, and one of the most respected and admired individuals of our time, Professor Stephen Hawking, died this morning aged 76.

A statement released on behalf of the family said:

“It is with great sadness we announce the death of Professor Stephen Hawking CH CBE FRS FRSA at the age of 76.

Professor Hawking died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of the morning.

His family have kindly requested that they be given the time and privacy to mourn his passing, but they would like to thank everyone who has been by Professor Hawking’s side – and supported him – throughout his life. 

His children Lucy, Robert and Tim have issued the following statement:

“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.”

The University of Cambridge has very kindly offered to open a book of condolence at Gonville and Caius College for anyone who would like to pay tribute to the life and work of Professor Hawking.”

Born in Oxford on January 8th 1942, Hawking was diagnosed with the rare form of motor neurone disease known as ALS at the age of 21 while studying for a PhD Cambridge, and was told he had a life expectancy of around four years.

Confined to a wheelchair before he turned 30, in 1986, aged 44 and after suffering with pneumonia, he had his voice removed and from then on, spoke using a computer synthesiser fitted to the arm of his wheelchair. Despite his condition, Hawking refused to let his illness impact his yearning for learning and educating others and travelled the world giving lectures and writing scientific papers about the basic laws that govern the universe. He also explained the Big Bang and black holes in his best-selling book A Brief History Of Time.

Throughout his life, Hawking received numerous awards and titles, including a CBE in 1982, and he was made a Companion of Honour in 1989, then in 2009, he was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom. He was also the recipient of the Albert Einstein Award and the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society and was a Fellow of The Royal Society and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences.

Among those to pay tribute to Hawking was Professor Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge who said:

“Professor Hawking was a unique individual who will be remembered with warmth and affection not only in Cambridge but all over the world. His exceptional contributions to scientific knowledge and the popularisation of science and mathematics have left an indelible legacy. His character was an inspiration to millions. He will be much missed.”

Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Hawking in the 2014 film The Theory Of Everything, said:

“We have lost a truly beautiful mind, an astonishing scientist and the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet. My love and thoughts are with his extraordinary family.”

Benedict Cumberbatch, who portrayed Hawking in the BBC TV film of the same name, released the following lengthy statement:

“I was so sad to hear that Stephen has died. I send my heartfelt love and condolences to all his family and colleagues. I feel so lucky to have known such a truly great man who’s profundity was found both in his work and the communication of that work. Both in person and in books. He virtually created the publishing genre of popular science. A heroic feat to bring the wondrous complexities of the universe to all outside of specialists in this field. But truly courageous when considering it was achieved by a man who lived a life trapped in his body from the age of 21 when he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease. His support of the sciences, art, education and the NHS and charities such as the MND foundation will also live on as will his wickedly funny sense of humor. I will miss our margaritas but will raise one to the stars to celebrate your life and the light of understanding you shone so brightly on them for the rest of us. You were and are a true inspiration for me and for millions around the world. Thank you.”

Below are just a selection of the tributes to Hawking from friends, fellow scientists and fans alike.

The cast of hit US show The Big Bang Theory, on which Hawking appeared in person and by voice on several occasions, posted this photo of him with the cast. Actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik, who plays Amy on the show,, also posted her own message.


British Prime Minister Theresa May also paid tribute, saying:

“Professor Stephen Hawking was a brilliant and extraordinary mind – one of the great scientists of his generation.His courage, humour and determination to get the most from life was an inspiration. His legacy will not be forgotten.”

Header photo credit: Dave J. Hogan (Getty Images)

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Charlie Gard, the baby at the centre of a legal row over his treatment, has died, a family spokesman has confirmed.

In a short statement issued on Friday evening, Ms Yates said:

“Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie.”

The 11-month-old, who suffered from an extremely rare genetic condition causing progressive brain damage and muscle weakness, had been at the centre of a five-month long legal battle between his parents and Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, was moved to a hospice following a High Court ruling.

Charlie’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, had fought against GOSH and how they wanted to turn Charlie’s life-support off, instead wanting an opportunity to take their son to the US for nucleoside bypass therapy, but specialists at GOSH said the treatment was experimental and that Charlie had irreversible brain damage.

The Gard family’s plight was supported by millions of people – the united Charlie’s Army – around the world, who raised £1.5m to cover the costs involved should Charlie have been allowed to go to America. Judges from the High Court, the European Court and the Supreme Court were all asked to give evidence/testify in the case, and all three parties sided with GOSH, saying the treatment would not benefit the youngster.

The couple dropped their legal battle on Monday after Professor Michio Hirano, the American neurologist who had offered to treat him, examined Charlie and said it was too late for it the treatment his parents wanted to try to work.  Several weeks earlier, he had co-signed a letter with other medical experts which suggested unpublished data showed therapy could improve Charlie’s brain condition. They claimed that “ideally” the treatment would first be tested on mice but said that, in Charlie’s case, there was no time for such a trial.

After announcing that they had ended their legal challenge, Connie and Chris delivered the following statement to the waiting media gathered outside the courthouse:

“Mummy and Daddy love you so much Charlie, we always have and we always will and we are so sorry that we couldn’t save you. We had the chance but we weren’t allowed to give you that chance. Sweet dreams baby. Sleep tight our beautiful little boy.”

Today, the Prime Minister Theresa May led the tributes and expressed her condolences in a statement that read:

“I am deeply saddened by the death of Charlie Gard. My thoughts and prayers are with Charlie’s parents Chris and Connie at this difficult time.”

Pope Francis and US Vice-President Mike Pence also tweeted messages of condolence:

Other tributes to Charlie and messages of condolence for his parents have since poured in from around the world on social media and you can read just a few of them below.


Britain’s Got Talent winner Pudsey the dog has died, ITV has confirmed.

The border collie, bichon frise and Chinese crested cross won the contest in 2012 with owner Ashleigh Butler.

A post on the show’s Twitter feed said:

“We are saddened to hear that today we lost Pudsey, a most marvellous winner. Our thoughts are with Ashleigh.”

The pair became famous for their dance routine to the Mission Impossible theme, and were the first dog act to win the competition.

In a since-deleted post on Instagram, Ashleigh said:

“I can’t honestly believe I am writing these words. My handsome man has gone and I don’t know what to do without him.”

It is reported Pudsey was put down after developing blood cancer.

The much loved dog and his owner, who hailed from Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, had worked together for 11 years.

In October 2012, a book titled Pudsey: My Autobidography, was released, chronicling the pet’s rise to fame. He then hit the big screen in 2014, taking the leading role in his own movie, Pudsey The Dog: The Movie. The pair also travelled to America following their big win, where they performed on America’s Got Talent and appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Tributes began to pour in within minutes of Britain’s Got Talent sharing the news, with fans saying they were “heartbroken” and sending wishes to his family.

Britain’s Got Talent judge David Walliams took to Twitter to pay tribute, writing: “Farewell to a very special dog that the nation fell in love with.”

Fan Jennifer Wood also tweeted: “Actual just started crying reading an article about Pudsey the dog dying…too sad.”