“SpongeBob SquarePants” creator Stephen Hillenburg died yesterday at the age of 57. He died of ALS, which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was just diagnosed with it in March of last year.
In a statement, Nickelodeon said, “[Stephen] 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.”
Stephen never won an Emmy for “SpongeBob”, but he was nominated nine times.
He started out as a marine biology teacher in the ’80s, and then started studying animation.
In 1993, he wrote and directed for “Rocko’s Modern Life” and “Rugrats” at Nickelodeon. “SpongeBob SquarePants”premiered in May 1999…and has aired more than 240 episodes. There have also been two movies.
(Pay tribute to Stephen with the “SpongeBob SquarePants” theme.)