Physicist Stephen Hawking passed away early this morning in his home in Cambridge. He was 76.
Hawking is best known in the academe for his work on black holes, general relativity, and quantum mechanics. And his best-selling book A Brief History of Time, as well as appearances on TV shows like The Simpsons, made him a household name.
Hawking signed a letter asking the British government to pardon mathematician Alan Turing. In 1952, Turing was found guilty of homosexuality and punished with chemical castration. He committed suicide shortly after.
“We urge the Prime Minister formally to forgive this British hero, to whom we owe so much as a nation, and whose pioneering contribution to computer sciences remains relevant even today,” the letter stated. “It is time his reputation was unblemished.”