Stephen Hawking was one of the world’s most acclaimed cosmologists, a medical miracle, and probably the galaxy’s most unlikely superstar celebrity.
After being diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease in 1964 at the age of 22, he was given just a few years to live.
Yet against all odds Professor Hawking celebrated his 70th birthday nearly half a century later as one of the most brilliant and famous scientists of the modern age.
He died today his home in Cambridge, aged, 76, and tributes have flooded in from all over the world.
Here, MailOnline looks at his life in pictures….
Stephen Hawking as a baby with his father Dr Frank Hawking, shortly after his birth in 1942 (left) and with his auntie Muriel (right) on VE Day
Stephen Hawking (left) pictured as a young boy, with his baby sister Mary. Professor Hawking died today, aged 76
Cheeky schoolboy: Stephen Hawking, dressed in a shirt and tie, smiles for the camera, (left) with sisters Mary and Phillipa
Stephen Hawking fishing when he was a young boy (left) and in the garden before school, aged, 12 (right)
As an undergraduate at Oxford (pictured on his graduation day in 1962), the young Hawking was so good at physics that he got through with little effort. He later calculated that his work there ‘amounted to an average of just an hour a day’ and commented: ‘I’m not proud of this lack of work, I’m just describing my attitude at the time, which I shared with most of my fellow students. You were supposed to be brilliant without effort, or to accept your limitations and get a fourth-class degree’
Jane and Stephen Hawking (pictured together in 1962) met through mutual friends at a party in 1962. The next year Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Even aware of his consequent shortened life expectancy and limitations, the couple became engaged in 1964 and married in 1965 in their shared hometown of St. Albans
Graduate assistant Colin P. Williams talks with physicist Stephen Hawking at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA on Apr. 12, 1984 (left) and Mr Hawking with his first wife, Jane, receiving an honorary degree from Cambridge University in 1989 (right)
Professor Stephen Hawking is pictured with his children Robert, Lucy & Tim and his first wife Jane, who he met in 1962
Jane and Stephen Hawking divorced in 1991 in an acrimonious split that caused major tensions with his family
The Queen Mother with Professor Stephen Hawking during her visit to Queen’s College, University of Cambridge, 10 June 1992
Hawking and his new bride Elaine Mason pose for pictures after the blessing of their wedding at St. Barnabus Church September 16, 1995
The scientist Stephen Hawking married former nurse Elaine Mason in 1995 and they divorced in 2006
Professor Stephen Hawking was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University (pictured in 2000)
Astrophysicist Hawking floats on a zero-gravity jet in April 2007. The modified jet carrying Hawking, physicians and nurses, and dozens of others first flew up to 24,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean off Florida
In this file photo taken on May 14, 2008, South Africa former President Nelson Mandela (R) meets with British scientist Professor Hawking (L) in Johannesburg
Dr Hawking was immortalised in the Oscar-winning biopic The Theory of Everything, where he was played by Eddie Redmayne and his many awards included the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom by Obama
(L-R) British actress Felicity Jones, ex-wife of Stephen Hawking, Jane Wilde Hawking, British physicist Stephen Hawking, and British actor Eddie Redmayne arrive for the UK premiere of ‘The Theory of Everything’ in Leicester Square in London
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) presents the Medal of Freedom to physicist Hawking during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House August 12, 2009 in Washington, DC
The Queen meets Stephen Hawking during a reception for Leonard Cheshire Disability charity at St James’s Palace in London in 2014
Professor Stephen Hawking speaks to media at a press conference in 2014, at the Savoy Hotel, to launch the formula of how England can win the football World Cup
In 2014, Professor Hawking was commissioned by bookmaker Paddy Power to lead a month-long study into the science of England’s World Cup performances and results as well as the ideal condition for World Cup success and the best way to take a penalty
Professor Stephen Hawking (pictured in 2015) died at home in Cambridge more than 50 years after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease
Hawking is shown at a press conference to announce Breakthrough Starshot, a new space exploration initiative, at One World Observatory on April 12, 2016 in New York City
Pope Francis meets the eminent physicist at the Vatican on November 28, 2016
Hawking spent the majority of his screen time on the ever so loved nerd show ‘Big Bang Theory’
He appeared on seven episodes, including the 200th one where he sang happy birthday to Sheldon via Skype
Hawking addressing The Cambridge Union on November 21, 2017, in one of his final public appearances
The world’s most celebrated scientist Professor Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76