Groundbreaking physicist Stephen Hawking died Tuesday evening at the age of 76, according to a spokesman for his family.
Hawking’s children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, released a statement on his passing.
“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today,” the statement read.
“He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years,” it concluded.
Hawking is known for expanding the understanding of relativity and black holes through his important additions to the fields of theoretical physics and quantum mechanics.
He wrote several books including “A Brief History of Time,” a popular introduction to his work into physics. He also suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease, a disability that eventually left him almost completely paralyzed. He was able to communicate by using an electronic aide attached to his cheek.
The groundbreaking scientist also became a pop culture icon with appearances on television shows including the Simpsons, Star Trek, Futurama and The Big Bang Theory.
Astrophysicist Neil Tyson tweeted his respects from his social media account:
His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake. But it's not empty. Think of it as a kind of vacuum energy permeating the fabric of spacetime that defies measure. Stephen Hawking, RIP 1942-2018. pic.twitter.com/nAanMySqkt
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) March 14, 2018
“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,” his children concluded.