Nobel Prize-winning scientist Stephen Hawking dies at 76

Alisa Molotova/Getty Images(CAMBRIDGE, England) — Nobel Prize-winning physicist Stephen Hawking died early Wednesday morning, a family spokesman told ABC News. He was 76.

Hawking, who wrote several influential books including “A Brief History of Time,” was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 1962.

The family did not disclose the cause of death, but said he “died peacefully” at his home in Cambridge, England.

“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,” the family said in a statement.

“His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humor 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,” it added.

He leaves behind a wife, Lucy, and two sons, Robert and Tim.

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