Stephen Hawking's Ashes to be Buried Next to Charles Darwin and Sir Isaac Newton at Westminster Abbey

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Stephen Hawking
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Stephen Hawking is taking his rightful place among the titans of scientific pioneering.

The famed theoretical astrophysicist, who died on March 14, will have his ashes interred at Westminster Abbey, next to the graves of Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.

Dean of Westminster Abbey John Hall announced the news on Tuesday, releasing a statement to Abbey's website praising Hawking's contributions to the world of science.

"It is entirely fitting that the remains of Professor Stephen Hawking are to be buried in the Abbey, near those of distinguished fellow scientists," Hall shared. "We believe it to be vital that science and religion work together to seek to answer the great questions of the mystery of life and of the universe."

Newton, who was buried at the Abbey in 1727, is best known for revolutionizing the study of the natural world and laying the groundwork for the study of physics and classical mechanics with his 1687 book  Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica.

Charles Darwin, who was buried next to Newton in 1882, was a famed naturalist and geologist who changed the study of the human species with his once-controversial 1859 text On the Origin of Species, which first presented his theory of evolution by means of natural selection.

Among the other scientific luminaries interred Westminster Abbey are Ernest Rutherford -- considered to be the forefather of nuclear physics who discovered the concept of radioactive half-life -- and Sir Joseph John Thomson -- a Nobel Laureate in Physics who is credited with first identifying the electron and discovery of the subatomic particle.

Hawking's family will first hold a memorial service at the University of Cambridge's church, Great St Mary’s, on March 31, BBC reports. His ashes will be interred later this year.

Hawking died on March 14 at his home in Cambridge, England. He was 76.

Hawking was born in Oxford, England on Jan. 8, 1942, and was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) when he was 21. Doctors told Hawking at the time that he had only a year or two to live. However, he didn't let that deter him from his ambition and he continued on to become one of history's most famous minds, even as his body deteriorated due to his illness.

In 1988, Hawking penned A Brief History of Time, which explained a number of scientific theories about the nature of the universe in accessible layman's terms which made the material understandable to those without prior knowledge of study of the topics the book explained.

The book became an international hit, selling over 10 million copies in 20 years and was translated into more than 35 languages, cementing Hawking's place in the public consciousness as a celebrity in the world of theoretical physics.

Hawking -- who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 – was an advocate of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics and came up with a theory about radiation emitted by black holes, which became known as Hawking Radiation.

He was also the subject of the 2014 biographical drama The Theory of Everything, in which he was played by Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar for his performance.

Watch the video below for more on the iconic scientist's inspirational legacy and the indelible mark he left on the field of physics and the world as a whole.

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