He is a symbol of humanity's scientific achievements, famous for his book A Brief History of Time and his work on schemes like the $100m Starshot interstellar travel project.
But Stephen Hawking has often also displayed a wry and acute sense of humour. As he prepares to celebrate his 75th birthday on Sunday we remember his best jab against now-President-elect Donald Trump.
At the launch of the Starshot project, designed to send a craft to our nearest stellar neighbours and perhaps send back images of habitable planets, he was asked what intelligent life might look like on other worlds.
The physicist quipped: "Judging from the election campaign, definitely not like us."
Researchers recently claims Mr Trump's dramatic success among white voters without a college education could be attributed largely to racism and sexism — and not the economic difficulties of those "left behind".
Political scientists from the University of Massachusetts said that even though Mr Trump's "explicit racist and sexist appeals" might have cost him the votes of educated whites, they "may have won him even more support" among those without degrees.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies