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Cosmologist Stephen Hawking, Dead at 76

He was one of the most influential scientists and lived with ALS for decades

(Editor’s note: This article was first published by PBS NewsHour.) 

Stephen Hawking, the brilliant theoretical physicist whose theories shaped the universe as we know it, died early Wednesday morning, on the birthday of Albert Einstein. He was 76.

Hawking is regarded as one of the most influential scientists in history, known especially for his study on the origins and design of the universe. His theories changed how we understand black holes and relativity and the Big Bang. But it was the way that Hawking communicated science in bestselling books and lectures, despite suffering from a debilitating disease, that introduced generations of avid fans to the cosmos.

By Nsikan Akpan
Nsikan Akpan is the digital science producer for PBS NewsHour and co-creator of the award-winning, NewsHour digital series ScienceScope. For secure communication, he can be reached via Signal (240) 516-8357 or PGP Fingerprint: 06D0 E6A5 AC19 3074 13B0 9F87 A332 744F E4D1 95DF. Nsikan was elected to the board of the National Association of Science Writers in September 2016. He holds a doctorate in pathobiology (Columbia University) and is an alum of the science communication program at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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