"His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world", the family said.
Fans of the scientist shared their condosolences on Twitter.
Former US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power underlined Hawking's kind heart in addition to his brilliant mind.
"He'll also be remembered for his spirit and unbounded pursuit to gain a complete understanding of the universe, despite the obstacles he faced".
Aimed at a non-scientific audience it attempted to explain some fundamental principles of physics and answer some of the oldest questions of mankind; how, why and where the universe began, how it works and where it will end.
"Stephen Hawking, confined to a wheel chair, had thoughts flicker in his brain that changed the world more than entire generations of modern politicians". He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.
Hawking suffered from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a neurodegenerative disease commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, which is usually fatal within a few years.
Stephen William Hawking was born January 8, 1942, in Oxford, England and had two younger sisters and a brother. President Ram Nath Kovind also paid his respects to the legend: Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted: "The world has lost a handsome mind and a brilliant scientist".
In 1999, the Nobel prize-winning physicist appeared on an episode of "The Simpsons", and appeared on the show three more times in following years.
He is survived by his three children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim.
The BBC is reporting family members are confirming the death of the British theoretical physicist.
Hawking grew up in London and St Albans and, after gaining a first-class degree in physics from Oxford, went on to Cambridge for postgraduate research in cosmology.
I think Stephen Hawking's biggest achievement was getting people talking and interested in some very complex and challenging ideas about the universe and our place in it. He was awarded CBE (1982), Companion of Honour (1989) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009).
He was also the subject of a 2013 documentary, "Hawking", in which he reflected on his life: "Because every day could be my last, I have the desire to make the most of each and every minute".
The account garnered one million fans within its first few hours and now has almost five million, with his infrequent posts typically generating tens of thousands of admiring comments and earning him the affectionate nickname "Hawking Dada", or "Uncle Hawking". He also took up public lectures and extensive programme of travel followng the illness.