Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of our beloved cartoon SpongeBob Squarepants has passed away at the age of 57.
According to the source, the cause of death was ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), which Hillenburg revealed he had been diagnosed with in March of last year.
Nickelodeon, the network home of SpongeBob SquarePants, released the following statement:
“We are incredibly saddened by the news that Steve Hillenburg has passed away following a battle with ALS. 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.”
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Stephen Hillenburg was born in Lawton, Oklahoma August 21st, 1961. He started his professional career in 1984, instructing marine biology. Hillenburg enrolled at the California Institute of the Arts to pursue a career in animation. He was later offered a job on the Nickelodeon animated television series “Rocko’s Modern Life “(1993–1996) after his success with short films “The Green Beret” and “Wormholes” (both 1992), which he made while studying animation.