New Delhi, Mar 14 (PTI) Congress President Rahul Gandhi today condoled the demise of renowned scientist Stephen Hawking, describing him as a torchbearer for logic, reason and scientific temper who left an indelible mark on society.

He said Hawking was the celebrity face of modern physics despite his physical challenges.

“His physical challenges notwithstanding, Prof Stephen Hawking was the celebrity face of modern physics. A torchbearer for logic, reason and scientific temper, the professor left an indelible mark on our society. Like millions of his fans around the world, I mourn his passing,” Gandhi said on Twitter.

The legendary British theoretical physicist, Hawking, who explored the mysteries of the universe from his wheelchair and went on to become an inspiring figure globally, died today at his home in Cambridge.

His family said that Hawking, 76, died peacefully in his home near Cambridge University, where he did much of his ground-breaking work on black holes and relativity.

Hawking suffered from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a neurodegenerative disease commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, which is usually fatal within a few years. He was diagnosed in 1963, when he was 21, and doctors initially only gave him a few years to live.

But he went on to study at Cambridge and became one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Albert Einstein.

The disease left Hawking wheelchair-bound and paralysed. He was able to move only a few fingers of one hand and was completely dependent on others or on technology for virtually everything — bathing, dressing, eating, even speech.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.