Stephen Hawking
We have tech to destroy world, but nothing to prevent it, warns Stephen Hawking [in picture].Reuters File

Stephen Hawking passed away Wednesday, March 14, and his death was confirmed by his spokesperson, who said he died peacefully in his sleep at his Cambridge home. The physicist, 76, amassed quite a fortune and has left behind about $20 million.

He is known to have various sources of income and most of these paid him a hefty amount, reported Inverse. He was the director of research at the Center for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge, which drew him quite a large compensation.

He is a best-selling author who has authored and co-authored several books, from which he received a large amount of royalty. His book "A Brief History of Time" was on the Sunday Times' bestsellers list for over five years and was translated into 35 languages. The book sold over 10 million copies in 20 years.

In 2012, Hawking won the Special Fundamental Physics Prize and was awarded $3 million in cash.

The late physicist also played a key role in the production of several films and made appearances in movies and television shows, for which he earned a decent amount. He is also said to have earned a large amount from the film "The Theory of Everything," in which Eddie Redmayne played the physicist. 

Hawking was also often invited for speeches and lectures by various institutions and organizations, and that made up for a chunky source of income. 

While not much is known about his immovable assets, Hawking owned an Aston Martin, reported Celebrity Life Cycle. His yearly earnings have been pegged at about $3,000,000.  

While he leaves behind $20 million, he has, in the past, said that he believes wealth is important but not the most important thing in life. In an op-ed for the Guardian, Hawking said that the value of money is different for him, compared to other people, due to his health issues. 

Hawking had a slow-progressing form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that had left him paralyzed. 

"I would be the last person to decry the significance of money. However, although wealth has played an important practical role in my life, I have of course had a different relationship with it to most people," he wrote in the op-ed.

"Paying for my care as a severely disabled man, and my work, is crucial; the acquisition of possessions is not. I don't know what I would do with a racehorse, or indeed a Ferrari, even if I could afford one.

"So I have come to see money as a facilitator, as a means to an end – whether it is for ideas, or health, or security – but never as an end in itself."