Stephen Hillenburg, creator of the fantastic childhood-completing series SpongeBob SquarePants, is gone. November is not over and yet we’ve lost another icon. The heartbreaking news came from Nickelodeon, who also had words for their dear colleague and friend.
“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. 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.”
So are we.
In May 2017, the world was rocked by the news of Stephen being diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). This is a rare neurological terminal illness that causes the death of neurons in the brain and spinal cord. At that time, he was already in the early stages of ALS. In an interview with Variety magazine, Stephen stated he’d work on SpongeBob as long as he was able to.
Due to complications, on November 27, 2018, Stephen Hillenburg left this world to mourn.
Thank you, Mr. Stephen Hillenburg, not only for inspiring young people but also completing our childhoods. SpongeBob will always be loved by many, from those who grew up with it and the many generations to come.