Scientist Dr. Stephen Hawking dead at 76: family
AFP/AFP - British scientist Stephen Hawking says "we must know" whether intelligent life exists elsewhere

Famed professor Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76, Reuters reports.

A spokesman for his family confirmed his death to the UK’s Press Association.

Hawking was a renowned scientist and author of "A Brief History of Time."

In a statement, Hawking's children praised their father's "brilliance and humor."

“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today," his children Lucy, Robert and Tim said. “He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world."

“He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love,'" they added. "We will miss him for ever.”