Stephen Hawking was one of the 20th century’s greatest scientists, not only because of his prodigious intellect, but also because he succeeded in the face of one of the most debilitating diseases possible. ALS normally kills people in 3 to 4 years; Hawking survived for decades.
So far there is no word on what finally killed him, only the description that he “died peacefully in his home.”
Given the horrible hand fate dealt him, it would have been understandable for Hawking to turn bitter and resentful. Instead he remained positive, never accepting defeat.
Hawking wanted his most famous formula, the equation for describing the entropy of a black hole, engraved on his tombstone. In this he joins other greats, like Boltzmann and Archimedes.
Rest in peace, Professor Hawking. I hope your spirit is finally free. You will be missed down here on Earth.