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Everybody Needs To See Obama’s Response To News Of Stephen Hawking’s Passing

Stephen Hawking, the man who explored time and space as no one else could, passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 76. The news was confirmed by a spokesperson from Hawking’s family.

There has been an outpouring of grief on social media for the late author and physicist, but one person’s tribute has been striking a chord, capturing a sentiment that fits the loss of such an incredible mind.

After hearing the sad news, former president Barack Obama took to Twitter and offered a short and poignant farewell to Hawking: “Have fun out there among the stars,” Obama tweeted.

Barack Obama

Have fun out there among the stars.

11:58 PM - Mar 14, 2018

The two men had met before at the White House in 2009 when Obama presented Hawking, a British citizen, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Though it is usually only presented to American citizens, Obama made an exception for Hawking and bestowed upon him the highest civilian honor for his lifetime of work.

“From his wheelchair, he’s led us on a journey to the farthest and strangest reaches of the cosmos. In so doing, he has stirred our imagination and shown us the power of the human spirit here on Earth,” Obama said of Hawking.

Before achieving world-recognition for his many contributions to physics, Hawking was a graduate student at the University of Cambridge. In 1963, he was diagnosed with a motor-neuron disease, specifically amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

His work in physics and cosmology continued on, despite losing his speech and being confined to a wheelchair. His most notable book was published in 1988 and titled A Brief History of Time. In it, Hawking explained complex concepts like space and time in nontechnical terms for a general audience.

In more recent years, Hawking became a major proponent of environmental awareness and praised Obama’s dedication to conservation and sustainability.

On the other hand, Hawking was an outspoken critic of Donald Trump and his stance on climate change. In the past, Trump has referred to climate change as a hoax.

“We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible. Trump’s action could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of two hundred and fifty degrees, and raining sulphuric acid,” he told the press last year.

Since taking office Trump has pulled out of the Paris climate agreement, one of the things he promised during his campaign. The U.S. is the only country on Earth that has not promised to limit carbon emissions to the standards set from the Paris climate agreement.

Trump has not issued any condolences or tributes to Stephen Hawking thus far today.