Stephen Hawking, the world-renowned physicist and author of "A Brief History of Time," died in the early hours of Wednesday at the age of 76. His family released a statement confirming Hawking died at his home in Cambridge.

“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today," Hawking's children, Lucy, Robert and Tim said in the statement. “He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence 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 for ever.”

For years, Hawking's fought with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, after being diagnosed more than a half-century ago. Despite the odds of survival with his medical condition, the physicist achieved much in his life, becoming one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Albert Einstein.

Below are some of his famous quotes, courtesy Brainy Quotes:

1. "Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change."

2. "I believe alien life is quite common in the universe, although intelligent life is less so. Some say it has yet to appear on planet Earth."

3. "Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious."

4. "No one undertakes research in physics with the intention of winning a prize. It is the joy of discovering something no one knew before."

5. "Science is beautiful when it makes simple explanations of phenomena or connections between different observations. Examples include the double helix in biology and the fundamental equations of physics."

6. "The radiation left over from the Big Bang is the same as that in your microwave oven but very much less powerful. It would heat your pizza only to minus 271.3 degree celsius — not much good for defrosting the pizza, let alone cooking it."

7. "Our minds work in real time, which begins at the Big Bang and will end, if there is a Big Crunch — which seems unlikely, now, from the latest data showing accelerating expansion. Consciousness would come to an end at a singularity."

8. "Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?"

9. "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing."

10. "We think that life develops spontaneously on Earth, so it must be possible for life to develop on suitable planets elsewhere in the universe. But we don't know the probability that a planet develops life."

Stephen-Hawking Physicist Stephen Hawking sits on stage during an announcement of the Breakthrough Starshot initiative with investor Yuri Milner in New York, April 12, 2016. Photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters