Hawking's family announced his death early Wednesday morning in that statement that said, "We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today."
Throughout his life, Hawking defied the odds. When he was 22 he was diagnosed with a rare motor neuron disease and was only given a few years to live by doctors.
While the condition left him unable to walk and speak, save for the use of a voice synthesizer, he went on to become one of the world's most influential scientists.
His major accomplishments include outlining a theory that black holes emit "Hawking radiation" in 1974 and publishing the book A Brief History of Time in 1988, which went on to sell more than 10 million copies.
In the statement, his children Lucy, Robert and Tim went on to praise his "courage and persistence" as well as his "brilliance and humor" that inspired people around the globe. They continued, "He once said, 'It would not be much of a universe if it wasn't home to the people we love.' We will miss him forever." (BBC)
His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake. But it's not empty. Think of it as a kind of vacuum energy permeating the fabric of spacetime that defies measure. Stephen Hawking, RIP 1942-2018. pic.twitter.com/nAanMySqkt— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) March 14, 2018
It was truly such an honor getting to work with the incredible Stephen Hawking.. He made us laugh and we made him laugh. His life and career workings have been many a subject matter on @thebigbangtheory__ and we are all better for it. You will be missed but the world is grateful for the knowledge and courage you leave in your path. Thank you for being an inspiration to everyone 🙏🏼 #stephenhawking ♥️
I once asked Stephen Hawking in an interview what puzzles him the most in all the universe. "Women," he answered. He will be missed. R.I.P.— Larry King (@kingsthings) March 14, 2018
Remembering Stephen Hawking, a renowned physicist and ambassador of science. His theories unlocked a universe of possibilities that we & the world are exploring. May you keep flying like superman in microgravity, as you said to astronauts on @Space_Station in 2014 pic.twitter.com/FeR4fd2zZ5— NASA (@NASA) March 14, 2018