Nickelodeon has confirmed the very sad news that we’ve lost the great Stephen Hillenburg, creator of Spongebob Squarepants.
The network tweeted the news Tuesday,
“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.”
💛 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. 💛
— Nickelodeon (@Nickelodeon) November 27, 2018
Hillenburg was 57 years old, and battling ALS. His diagnosis with the disease was made public in march of 2017.
In a statement, Nickelodeon writes,
“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.”
Hillenburg became known as the creator of Rocko’s Modern Life which came to an end in 1995. He was then promoted to creative director. He was 38 years old when he created Bikini Bottom and the deep sea world of Spongebob Squarepants.
Spongebob continues to delight his audiences even after 19 years. The became one of the most popular in the history of the network, and its going on its 12th season.