Ashes of Stephen Hawking to be placed in Westminster Abbey

FILE - In this Wednesday, July 21, 1999 file photo Professor Stephen Hawking smiles during a news conference at the University of Potsdam, near Berlin, Germany. Hawking, whose brilliant mind ranged across time and space though his body was paralyzed by disease, has died, a family spokesman said early Wednesday, March 14, 2018.(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)

LONDON — The ashes of celebrated physicist Stephen Hawking will be interred at London's Westminster Abbey near the grave of Isaac Newton.

A spokesman for the abbey said Tuesday the ashes will be placed there later this year at a thanksgiving service.

The Dean of Westminster Rev. John Hall said it is "entirely fitting" that Hawking's remains will be placed in the abbey "near those of distinguished fellow scientists."

He said Newton was buried in the abbey in 1727 and Charles Darwin was buried there in 1882.

Hawking, who died last week at the age of 76, was one of the world's most accomplished physicists despite suffering the effects of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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