Stephen Hillenburg, creator of Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants has died at age 57 after being diagnosed with ALS in 2017.
ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that causes the death of neurons that control someone’s voluntary muscles. Generally, it eventually leads to paralyzation and the average life expectancy for people diagnosed with ALS is two to five years because there is not yet a cure.
Stephen Hillenburg created a cartoon that defined an entire generation. There is a reason why many are still enjoying it as much as they did when they were kids.
57 is way too young of an age to pass away, but his legacy will live on forever.
Rest In Peace, Stephen Hillenburg pic.twitter.com/9NoKqbGdzY
— SEGANintendoUbisoft (@SegaUbi) November 27, 2018
Hillenburg originally taught marine biology before pursuing animation as a career. After working on Rocko’s Modern life, Hillenburg developed SpongeBob SquarePants, the beloved ocean based cartoon that revolves around the life of an energetic sea sponge. The show ended up being one of the longest running in the history of television, running in at a total of 209 episodes so far, as well as two feature films.
Over the years, Hillenburg has been awarded 17 Emmy nominations, and won in the 2010 Outstanding Special Class Animated Program and the 2014 Outstanding Sound Editing.
Rest in peace, Stephen Hillenburg.