Renowned physicist and one of the greatest minds of our time Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76.

Hawking died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday morning, according to his family.

Throughout his life, the Oxford-born Hawking was best known for predicting that black holes emitted radiation, as well as his work on relativity. He was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease at the age of 22 and given just months to live, but went on to marry twice and have three children - Lucy, Robert and Tim.

His life story was recounted in the film 'The Theory of Everything', which saw Eddie Redmayne play Hawking, and appeared as himself in several cartoons, including The Simpsons.

His family released a statement saying: "We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years."

"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."

Many people have paid tribute to Hawking since news broke of his death: