Hawking was diagnosed with ALS at 21.
My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn't prevent you doing well, and don't regret the things it interferes with.
He was best known for his work on black holes, the mysterious infinitely dense regions of compressed matter where the normal laws of physics break down, which dominated the whole of his academic life.
1974: He becomes at 32 one of the youngest members of the Royal Society, Britain's most prestigious scientific body. He realised that radiation does exist and that was the beginning of the epoch-making theory of Hawking radiation.
Hawking published A Brief History of Time in 1988.
Hawking has put Newton's gravitational theories to the test in 2007. "I therefore want to encourage public interest in space".
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His exceptional contributions to scientific knowledge and the popularisation of science and mathematics left an indelible legacy, University of Cambridge vice chancellor Stephen Toope said: "His character was an inspiration to millions".
"I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be in space", Hawking told CNN's Becky Anderson.
In 1997, Stephen Hawking lost a bet to American Theoretical Physicist about the concept of Black Holes which stated that nothing can escape from a black hole which was in violation of the fundamentals of quantum mechanics.
As an author, among his most well-known works was "A Brief History of Time".
Beyond scientific debate Hawking also weighed into politics, describing Donald Trump as "a demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator" ahead of his election as United States president.
He got married twice and has three children. In 1995 he marries his former nurse, Elaine Mason; they too divorce after several years.
Justin Rattner, chief technology officer at Intel, who introduced Prof Hawking's speech, said: "With more than half a century of remarkable research Professor Hawking has continually pushed the boundaries of humankind's understanding of the cosmos".
Although these two Oscar-nominated actors brought Hawking life's work to a mass audience, the scientist will also be remembered for playing himself in some of America's most popular TV sitcoms.