Stephen Hawking has died

Stephen Hawking has died aged 76.

The English physicist died on Wednesday (local time), according to a spokesman for his family.

His family released a statement confirming his death at his home in Cambridge.

Stephen Hawking’s children, Lucy, Robert and Tim said in a 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 for ever.”

Stephen Hawking is known as one of the brightest scientists in modern history, helping to shape modern cosmology, and in turn, inspired millions.

The physicist was only 21 when he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 1963. Doctors expected him to live for only two more years.

His book 'A Brief History of Time' was what rocketed him to stardom, a book that has sold 10 million copies and translated into 40 different languages.

His iconic career was also immortalised in the recent film 'The Theory Of Everything', starring Eddie Redmayne.