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The Freedom scroll in 2017

Professor Hawking was presented with illuminated Freedom scroll by the Chamberlain of the City of London Peter Kane as he receives the Honorary Freedom of the City of London during a ceremony at the Guildhall in the City of London in 2017. (AP)

A genius who defied paralysis: Stephen Hawking's life in pictures

World-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking passed away today at the age of 76.

Aside his work as a scientist, Hawking was also a cosmologist, astronomer, mathematician and author of multiple books including ‘A Brief History of Time,’ which has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.

Despite being diagnosed with early-onset ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) at the age of 21, Hawking was determined to keep positive.

‘I try to lead as normal a life as possible, and not think about my condition, or regret the things it prevents me from doing, which are not that many,’ he wrote on his website.

‘I have been lucky that my condition has progressed more slowly than is often the case. But it shows that one need not lose hope.’

Throughout his career he received more than 18 awards, met the Queen, Barack Obama and Pope Benedict, and had a film made about his life: The Theory of Everything.

These pictures show the incredible life of Stephen Hawking.