If the world seemed a little bit sadder this morning, there's a good reason why. Early on Wednesday, the renowned physicist Stephen Hawking -- long considered one of the greatest human minds of all time -- died at age 76.
News of the celebrated scientist and best-selling author's death sparked a wave of emotional online tributes from fellow famed academics, world leaders, movie stars, musicians, disability advocates, and a many other notable folks he touched and inspired around the world.
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The American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson described his passing as having left an "intellectual vacuum."
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi insisted that his work "made our world a better place."
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield chimed in, too.
Even Katy Perry felt compelled to pay tribute.
Barack Obama shared a photo taken during Hawking's visit to the White House in 2009.
George Takei marked his remembrance with a nod to the importance of scientific inquiry.
Dan Rather wrote of Hawking's deep belief in "the power of reason."
Al Jean, longtime producer of The Simpsons, wrote of Hawking's legendary sense of humor.
John Oliver also shared his memory of how funny Hawking was.
Comedian Kumail Nanjiani took a moment to acknowledge the influence Hawking's book A Brief History of Time had on him.
Disability advocate Nyle DiMarco remarked on Hawking's visibility (he suffered from ALS) as a testament to the limitless human potential.
Famed computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee described Hawking as a "colossal mind and a wonderful spirit."
Macaulay Culkin was moved to say something, too.
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