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LONDON — Renowned astrophysicist and popular author and lecturer Stephen Hawking died, the BBC and several London newspapers reported Wednesday.

The Guardian said Hawking’s family released a statement confirming he died at his home in Cambridge. “We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today,’’ Hawking’s children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim, said.

Hawking — who suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, for most of his adult life — was emeritus Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge University, a chair once held by Sir Isaac Newton. His most important work brought together quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, and the general theory of relativity. (Complete obituary will be in Thursday’s paper.)