SpongeBob Squarepants Creator Stephen Hillenburg Dies

BIKINI BOTTOM – The creator of one of the most iconic cartoons in American history has died.

Stephen Hillenburg, who created Nickelodeon’s top rated cartoon series SpongeBob SquarePants, died on Monday at age 57.

In a released statement, Nickelodeon said the network is saddened by his passing, adding that Hillenburg suffered from ALS.

Stephen Hillenburg (1961 – 2018) cartoonist, animator, marine biologist and teacher.
He was the creator of the Nickelodeon television series SpongeBob SquarePants.
Photo: ZUMA Press

Hillenberg had a degree in experimental animation from the California Institute of Arts in Valencia and graduated in 1992 with a Master of Fine Arts. He also studied marine biology at Humboldt State University.

Sources noted that Hillenburg won an award for Best Animated Concept at the Ottawa International Animation Festival for his short Wormholes. He also worked as a writer and director on Rocko’s Modern Life from 1993 to 1996 at the Nickelodeon network.