CBS Local — The remains of renowned physicist Stephen Hawking will be joining a pair of history-making scientists in Westminster Abbey. The ashes of the legendary professor are going to be interred next to the resting places of Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin later this year.
Hawking was 76 when he died on March 14 at his home in Cambridge. The theoretical physicist lived the majority of his life confined to a wheelchair due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) and could only communicate through the use of a voice synthesizer.
“It is entirely fitting that the remains of Professor Stephen Hawking are to be buried in the Abbey, near those of distinguished fellow scientists,” the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr. John Hall said in a statement. “Sir Isaac Newton was buried in the Abbey in 1727. Charles Darwin was buried beside Isaac Newton in 1882.”
Prof. Hawking gained worldwide recognition through his papers and books on the mysteries of space, time, and black holes. His book, “A Brief History of Time,” became an international bestseller. The physicist’s final paper, submitted just days before his death, proposed a way of detecting an infinite number of parallel universes (known as the Multiverse).
Hawking’s children announced that the family will hold a private funeral service at a church near Gonville and Caius College on March 31. The professor was a fellow at the school for over 50 years.