To their credit, though, they did apologize for the silly "error":
"How embarrassing," Health and Science Editor Rosie Mestel said in an e-mail. "We carelessly wrote in the article 'Hawking is perhaps the best-known physicist ever' when we meant to say 'perhaps the best-known physicist ALIVE.' (We were moving fast.) When the caption for the photo was written, much like in a game of telephone, our misstatement was ramped up to 'probably the most famous.' We certainly meant no disrespect to Einstein and Newton, of whom we have indeed heard."
Hawking Assistant Managing Editor Henry Fuhrmann, who oversees the copy editors who write the headlines and captions and perform the final editing, likewise expressed regret:
I don't know if most famous or best-known is of any significance, at least to a scientist. Most cited would be something of significance. And in my book, most influential would also be something of significance.