Stephen Hillenburg Cause Of Death: How Did ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ Creator Die?

SpongeBob SquarePants creator Stephen Hillenburg passed away at the age of 57-years-old on Tuesday, November 27.

Hillenburg was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, otherwise known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 2017.

The news was shared by Nickelodeon in a tweet posted on Tuesday, November 27 at 12:34 p.m.:

“We are sad to share the news of the passing of Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants. Today, we are observing a moment of silence to honor his life and work,” the tweet read.

SpongeBob SquarePants is one of the longest-running shows on television, having first premiered on Nickelodeon in 1999. At the time of this writing, Spongebob SquarePants has aired nearly 250 episodes to date.

Prior to creating SpongeBob SquarePants, Hillenburg graduated from Humboldt State University in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Planning and Interpretation before earning a degree in Experimental Animation at the California Institute of Arts. He then earned his Master of Fine Arts in 1992.

After he completed his education, Hillenburg worked as a director and writer on Nickelodeon’s series Rocko’s Modern Life from 1993 to 1996.

Following his stint working on Rocko’s Modern Life, Hillenburg began writing, producing, and directing SpongeBob SquarePants full-time, which aired its first episode on May 1, 1999.

Stephen Hillenburg Cause Of Death: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Hillenburg’s cause of death was ALS, otherwise referred to as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was diagnosed with the disease in 2017.

You can read Nickelodeon’s statement on Hillenburg below:

“We are incredibly saddened by the news that Steve Hillenburg has passed away following a battle with ALS. He was a beloved friend and long-time 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,” the statement said. “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.”


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