By Levi Livengood
‘Spongebob Squarepants’ creator, Stephen Hillenburg, has died at 57 years old.
The news of his death hit the news on the 27th of November, 2018, though he had died on the 26th. He had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 2017, and it is though that this is what he ultimately died from. His work on the Nickelodeon animated series, ‘Spongebob Squarepants,’ gave the network their highest rated show, and one of the longest running in American history.
The Spongebob Squarepants series aired on Nickelodeon in 1999 across the nation and the world. It proved to be a cultural phenomenon, consistently garnering at least a million average viewers per episode. It has earned numerous awards and has spawned two movies, each grossing over $200 million worldwide.
But Spongebob Squarepants is just one of the many accomplishments under Hillenburg’s belt . His interest in animation and marine life went back to his childhood. He of course went on to be an animator, but he also worked as a marine biology instructor at Orange County Marine Institute in 1984. He cared about the environment, especially the ocean, for a long time, receiving an award from Heal the Bay for his part in raising awareness for marine animals and environments. He was married and had one child, though he preferred to keep most of his
private life a secret.
The influence that Stephen Hillenburg had cannot be overstated. The man created a massively popular cartoon that will be remembered for as long and as fondly as Mickey Mouse or Looney Toons. His work has touched the hearts of millions of people across the country, providing them with something to always look back fondly on.