'Spongebob Squarepants' Creator STEPHEN HILLENBURG Passes Away At 57

Camille Santos

Posted at November 28, 2018

Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of the well-loved Nickelodeon cartoon series Spongebob Squarepants, has passed away at the age of 57 following a battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS—a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

Stephen introduced the megahit animated series in 1999, and has since aired nearly 250 episodes, and spawned two movies and even a Broadway musical.

“We are incredibly saddened by the news that Steve Hillenburg has passed away following a battle with ALS,” Nickelodeon said in a statement. “He was a beloved friend and long-time creative partner to everyone at Nickelodeon, and our hearts go out to his entire family. Steve imbued ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ with a unique sense of humor and innocence that has brought joy to generations of kids and families everywhere. His utterly original characters and the world of Bikini Bottom will long stand as a reminder of the value of optimism, friendship and the limitless power of imagination.”

In addition to Spongebob Squarepants, the marine-biologist-turned-cartoonist worked on two other classic cartoons: Rugrats and Rocko's Modern Life.

Among those who offered their condolences were graphic novelist Craig Thompson and actor David Hasselhoff. Fans and fellow animators also flocked to social media to celebrate Stephen's life and his contributions in the field of animation.

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