Quoted from Luckydogg420:
In my humble opinion Stephen Hawking was more important to figuring out the world around us then Einstein was.
I'll disagree with you on this point. The contributions by Einstein to our understanding of the fundamental nature of our universe are unparalleled. He figured out that we live in a four dimension universe of space-time, figured out that speed of light in a vacuum is constant everywhere for every observer regardless of relative velocities, worked out the fundamentals of time dilation, and developed the equations for special and general relativity, which have been confirmed every time they've been challenged.
Hawking tried to combine general relativity and quantum mechanics into one "theory of everything". The big issue is that gravity doesn't fit well with quantum mechanics, so Hawking focused on where gravity has a large impact, namely black holes. He essentially determined that at the event horizon of a black hole, if a virtual particle pair pops into existence, before it can obliterate, one particle will fall into the black hole and one will go out into space, thus the term "Hawking radiation" and the theory that black holes will eventually evaporate (over trillions of years). While this is an incredible theory and expanded our understanding of the fundamental forces, it is for a relatively special case. Hawking didn't discover quantum entanglement or tunneling.
Hawking received quite a bit of fame when he published his book "A Brief History of Time". It was written that most folks could read it and grasp the concepts. In addition, his disease aided in his fame in that it didn't hinder his pursuit and the fact that he had to do most of the work in his head, which is incredible as these are incredibly difficult mathematical problems to solve. I've read a number of his books and in the later ones, he seemed to just throw out theories without much substance behind them. I think in "The Universe in a Nutshell", he pretty much says that the universe popped into existence based on a random quantum fluctuation. He didn't provide many details to back up this point.
Anyway, Hawking was a brilliant scientist and much smarter than I am, but he was no Einstein.