Creator of Nickelodeon’s animated megahit SpongeBob SquarePants, Stephen Hillenburg is dead at the age of 57.
Reports have it that he died yesterday, November 26 from ALS which he revealed he was diagnosed with in March 2017.
Nickelodeon announced his death in a tweet today, November 27.
We are sad to share the news of the passing of Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants. Today, we are observing a moment of silence to honor his life and work.
The late Hillenburg was a 1984 graduate of Northern California’s Humboldt State University where he studied Natural Resource Planning and Interpretation, with an emphasis on marine resources.
His career in the world of animation began in 1987 when he enrolled as a student at the California Institute of Arts in Valencia. He graduated in 1992 with a degree in Experimental Animation.
He served as a director and writer on Nickelodeon’s cartoon series Rocko’s Modern Life from 1993 to 1996. It was there that he created SpongeBob SquarePants, which eventually premiered on the network in May 1999. The series which has won multiple awards, including honours from the British Emmy Awards, Annie Awards and ASACP Awards has aired more than 250 episodes in its nearly two decades on air.
Hillenburg or Steve as he was known to family, friends and fans was born August 21, 1961, at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma. He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Karen Hillenburg, son Clay, mother Nancy Hillenburg and brother Brian Kelly Hillenburg.