“'Why is there something rather than nothing?' sounds so fundamental a question that it should have perplexed humanity since the dawn of philosophy. Strangely, it hasn’t, or at least it has left no trace on early written literature." That's according to Sarah Bakewell, who indicates the question had its genesis with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in 1714.
The Basic Question, The New York Times, review of Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story, by Jim Holt.