Although he struggled with communication due to motor neurone disease, he made the universe a universal subject.
Here are some of his most famous quotes that are sure to live long in the memory:
READ: Tributes paid across the world as 'genius' Stephen Hawking dies aged 76On why the universe exists: "If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we would know the mind of God" - A Brief History Of Time, published 1988
On his diagnosis: "My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus" - Interview in The New York Times, December 2004
On black holes: "Einstein was wrong when he said, 'God does not play dice'. Consideration of black holes suggests, not only that God does play dice, but that he sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can't be seen" - The Nature Of Space And Time, published 1996
On God: "It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going" - The Grand Design, published 2010
READ: Death of a genius: Professor Stephen Hawking dies aged 76On his fame: "The downside of my celebrity is that I cannot go anywhere in the world without being recognised. It is not enough for me to wear dark sunglasses and a wig. The wheelchair gives me away" - Interview on Israeli TV, December 2006
On the possibility of contact between humans and aliens: "I think it would be a disaster. The extraterrestrials would probably be far in advance of us. The history of advanced races meeting more primitive people on this planet is not very happy, and they were the same species. I think we should keep our heads low" -In Naked Science: Alien Contact, The National Geographic Channel, 2004
- On intellectual showboating: "People who boast about their IQ are losers" - Interview in The New York Times, December 2004.
On commercial success: "I want my books sold on airport bookstalls"- Interview in The New York Times, December 2004
On an imperfect world: "Without imperfection, you or I would not exist" - On Into The Universe With Stephen Hawking, The Discovery Channel, 2010
On euthanasia: "The victim should have the right to end his life, if he wants. But I think it would be a great mistake. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there's life, there is hope"- Quoted in People's Daily Online, June 2006
READ: Stephen Hawking: A brief history of one of Britain's most celebrated scientistsOn death: "I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I'm not afraid of death, but I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first." - Interview in The Guardian, May 2011
On the importance of having a sense of humour: "Life would be tragic if it weren't funny" - Interview in The New York Times, December 2004.