The world is in mourning as it remembers the legacy and lessons of Stephen Hawking. On March 13, a Cambridge University spokesperson confirmed that Stephen Hawking had passed away at the age of 76 (1942- 2018). For 55 years, Hawking had suffered from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a debilitating disease that had rendered much of Hawking’s motor functions inert. Sir Stephen A. Hawking was a renowned theoretical physicist, astrophysicist, and cosmologist. Hawking’s postulations on the nature of black holes and the habits of the universe are some of his most recognizable contributions the field of theoretical physics.

During August of 2009, Stephen Hawking was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President Barack Obama. Hawking’s research, theories, and image had become ubiquitous within popular culture.

From scientist to icon

Through his work and exposure via media, he became an author, screenwriter, and actor. Television shows such as “Dexter’s Laboratory” and “The Simpsons” made blatant homages to his character, and the scientist had made live appearances in episodes of “Star Trek” and “The Big Bang Theory.” On the silver screen, Hawking had become ingrained into our society beyond the field of science with own critically acclaimed biopic “The Theory of Everything.” Though Hawking may be gone, his musings will live on forever in the hearts of those who have been inspired by his words.

Here are five selections of Hawking's thoughts on the many aspects of life.

On intelligence

"Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change."

Though Stephen Hawking is considered one of the most brilliant minds of the 21st century, he did not view his intelligence in the way many of us may reflect on our own. Stephen had always considered his mental acuity a byproduct of his potential, rather than and an inherent gift of his studies.

Stephen had stated that he wasn't the top student in his classes, but his fellow classmates still referred to him as "Einstein." Ironically, Einstein also struggled academically in school.

On existence

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star, but we can understand the Universe. That makes us something special.”

Hawking was forward about his beliefs as an atheist.

While he did make reference to the potential of a creator being or force, he did not consider humans to be any more special in the eyes of the universe than any other intelligent being. As he states, it is from our ability to see this insignificance within our lives that true meaning can flourish.

On fame

“Sometimes I wonder if I’m as famous for my wheelchair and disabilities as I am for my discoveries.”

Hawking enjoyed his private life as much as he enjoyed having a platform to promote the sciences he dedicated his life too. Hawking never wrote an autobiography so that his privacy could be protected.

On perfection

“Without imperfection, you or I wouldn’t exist.”

Much in line with his view of life, Hawking valued the truth in flaws.

Hawking has joked about his inability to win a Nobel Prize and the tragedies of life. Hawking credits being diagnosed with ALS at a young age for allowing him to appreciate the curveballs thrown by life. Though his prognosis should have guaranteed him a short life, he was able to accomplish so much in years he never thought he has the chance to experience.

On being pleasant

"People won't have time for you if you are always angry or complaining."

Hawking, despite the adversity he had faced throughout his life, tried to maintain a bright and positive demeanor, and it would seem this goal had paid off in spades. By maintaining an approachable attitude, Hawking made science accessible to many people who would have never been exposed to the enigmatic concepts he dealt with on a daily basis.