Professor Hawking was 'inspiration to millions' - University of Cambridge

Professor Stephen Hawking was "an inspiration to millions" and his work will leave "an indelible legacy", the University of Cambridge has said.

The acclaimed physicist died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday morning, at the age of 76.

Prof Hawking first arrived at the University of Cambridge in 1962 as a PhD student, and rose through the ranks to become the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a position once held by Sir Isaac Newton, in 1979.

He retired from this position in 2009, and became the Dennis Stanton Avery and Sally Tsui Wong-Avery Director of Research in the department of applied mathematics and theoretical physics until his death.

The university's vice-chancellor Professor Stephen Toope 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."

Prof Hawking was a fellow at the university's Gonville and Caius College, where a book of condolence is due to be opened.

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