Stephen Hillenburg, Creator of Spongebob Squarepants, Passes Away

On Nov. 26, Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of the popular Nickelodeon show Spongebob Squarepants, passed away at the age of 57.

Hillenburg is best known to Generation Z as the creator of Spongebob and his many undersea friends but he also directed, wrote and produced it. Twitter was on fire with tweets mourning his loss, so much so that his death became a trending topic in the US. He was not only a creator, but as well as a marine biology teacher, and of course an animator and cartoonist.

Spongebob Squarepants is a well-known kids show, created in 1999. Its story revolves around a square yellow sponge named SpongeBob SquarePants who lives in a pineapple with his pet snail, Gary, in the city of Bikini Bottom on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. He works as a fry cook at the Krusty Krab and has many adventures throughout the television series. The show is the fifth longest-running American animated series.

Hillenburg had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ALS is a terminal illness that affects and causes the death of neurons that control the brain and the spinal cord. Several years before his death, he stated that he would continue to work on SpongeBob Squarepants “for as long as able.”