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Posted: March 14, 2018

Stephen Hawking quotes: Words of wisdom, humor from the physicist and pop culture icon

Stephen Hawking Fast Facts

By Michelle Ewing, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

World-renowned physicist and pop culture icon Stephen Hawking not only had a brilliant scientific mind but also a way with words. Here are nine memorable quotes from Hawking, who died Wednesday at age 76:

>> MORE: Stephen Hawking dead at 76Photos |  Notable deaths 2018  |  Celebrities react

1. "Life would be tragic if it weren't funny." 

– New York Times interview, 2004

2. "So next time someone complains that you have made a mistake, tell him that may be a good thing. Because without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist." 

– "Into the Universe With Stephen Hawking," 2010

3. "People who boast about their IQ are losers." 

– New York Times interview, 2004

4. "Mankind's greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking." 

– British Telecom ad, 1993

5. "Women. They are a complete mystery." 

– New Scientist interview, 2012

6. "However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. While there's life, there is hope." 

– Hong Kong press conference, 2006

7. "I have noticed that even people who claim everything is predetermined and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road." 

– "Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays," 1993

8. "We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet." 

– "Into the Universe With Stephen Hawking," 2010

>> Read more trending news 

9. "My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all." 

– "Stephen Hawking's Universe," 1985


Related

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Photos: Stephen Hawking through the years

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Photos: Stephen Hawking through the years

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Professor Stephen Hawking speaks during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Photos: Notable deaths 2018

Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Photos: Notable deaths 2018

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Stephen Hawking dead at 76: Celebrities, public figures, scientists pay tribute

Stephen Hawking, the renowned British physicist, professor, author and pop culture icon, died Wednesday at age 76.

>> MORE: Stephen Hawking dead at 76  |  Photos  |  Notable deaths 2018  |  Memorable quotes  |  MORE

Hawking, whose life was chronicled in the 2014 film "The Theory of Everything," had battled amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – aka ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease – for more than five decades.

Scientists, public figures and celebrities, including astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and pop singer Katy Perry, flocked to social media to pay tribute to Hawking. Here's what they had to say:

Renowned physicist and professor Stephen Hawking dead at 76

Professor Stephen Hawking died at his home in Cambridge, England, Wednesday. He was 76.

>> Read more trending news

According to a statement released by a family spokesperson, Hawking died peacefully in the early hours of the morning.

>> PHOTOS: Stephen Hawking through the years

His children issued the following statement:

“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and peristence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world. He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss him forever.”

The family said in their statement that the “University of Cambridge has very kindly offered to open a book of condolence at Gonville and Caius College for anyone who would like to pay tribute to the life and work of Professor Hawking.”

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths 2018

Hawking was diagnosed with progressive and degenerative motor neuron disease in 1963 when he was 21 years old, according to Hawking.org, and given just two years to live by doctors.

>> Stephen Hawking dead at 76: Celebrities, public figures, scientists pay tribute

He’s defied those odds by more than 50 years. Most patients diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) live no more than roughly three years after diagnosis, according to the ALS Association.

>> Stephen Hawking quotes: Words of wisdom, humor from the physicist and pop culture icon

Despite the disease, he was able to communicate from his motorized wheelchair using his cheek muscle attached to a speech-generating computer. 

While the illness may have forced Hawking into a wheelchair and left him voiceless, it never slowed down his intellect or genius and, if anything, seemed to accelerate his scientific drive and ambition. He spent 30 years as a professor at Cambridge, and, in addition to his scientific accomplishments, he’s also a prolific writer and penned one of the most iconic books of the 20th century “A Brief History of Time,” making him one of science’s biggest celebrities since Albert Einstein.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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