The creator of the hit Nickelodeon show “SpongeBob SquarePants” died Monday from ALS.
The popular cartoon first aired on Nickelodeon back on May 1st of 1999 and has played for nearly two decades. The show’s characters, SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Mr. Krabs, Sandy Cheeks, Plankton, Pearl Krabs, Mrs. Puff and Larry entertained many on the network since it’s debut.
Nickelodeon confirmed that the visionary and creator behind “SpongeBob SquarePants” died on Monday from complications from ALS. He was diagnosed in 2017.
“We are incredibly saddened by the news that Steve Hillenburg has passed away following a battle with ALS,” the cable network shared in a statement.
“He was a beloved friend and longtime 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.”
He broke into TV as director and writer for the Nickelodeon show, “Rocko’s Modern Life” and he soon began creation for the show that would change his life after. Stephen also wrote both of the high grossing ‘SpongeBob’ feature films where the first brought in over $140 million.
Hillenburg leaves behind his wife, Karen, and son, Clay.
Watch the video below for more on this story: