Stephen Hawking dies at 76

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Stephen Hawking, the world-renowned physicist and author, has died at age 76, according to multiple reports.

A spokesperson for the family made the announcement early Wednesday local time.

One of the most prominent intellectuals of his era, the Oxford-born cosmologist was behind groundbreaking discoveries about black holes and general relativity.

Hawking was diagnosed in 1963 with ALS, which eventually paralyzed him. He was still able to communicate using a computer that generated speech.

In recent years, he was an outspoken critic of President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out ‘subversion’ at VA MORE , calling him out for his rhetoric on the campaign trail and for his environmental policies.

After Trump said last summer he would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord, Hawking warned that climate change is among the greatest dangers facing the world.

“We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible,” Hawking told BBC News last July. “Trump’s action could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of 250 degrees.”

In May 2016, shortly before Trump officially earned the Republican presidential nomination, Hawking slammed him as a “demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator.”

He also opposed Great Britain leaving the European Union, arguing that being a part of the union would help the country’s security and economy.

–Updated at 12:14 a.m. on March 14, 2018