Stephen Hawking once said:
Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change
He embodied this spirit in the way he approached his battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Given only two years to live when diagnosed at the age of 21, Hawking lived a further 55 years and spent them famously pushing the boundaries of theoretical physics whilst also embracing popular culture and fun (it is rumoured that someone once mocked up a picture of him on a date with Marilyn Monroe and he thought it was funny so hung it in his office).
His greatest achievement was not only his mastery of theoretical physics but his ability to capture the imaginations and interests of the non-scientific community bringing millions of us with him on his journey to answer seemingly impossible questions.