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    Tuesday, 27 November 2018

    SpongeBob Squarepants’ Creator Stephen Hillenburg Dies at 57


    The news was confirmed by Nickelodeon, which has broadcast the hugely popular cartoon series since 1999.


    In a statement, the company said Hillenburg's cause of death was motor neurone disease (also known as ALS) - a condition he revealed he had been diagnosed with in March last year.


    As well as creating the character, Hillenburg also directed 2004's The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.
    "We are sad to share the news of the passing of Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants," Nickelodeon tweeted from their official account.


    Hillenburg also wrote, produced, and directed “The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie,” which was released in 2004 and went on to gross over $140 million worldwide. Hillenburg then wrote the story for and was the executive producer of the sequel, “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water,” in 2015.

    Hillenburg — or Steve as he was known to family, friends, and fans — was born August 21, 1961, at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma. After leaving the military, his father, Kelly N. Hillenburg, Jr., became a draftsman and designer for aerospace companies. His mother Nancy taught visually impaired students.

    He is survived by his wife of 20 years Karen Hillenburg, son Clay, mother Nancy Hillenburg (nee Dufour) and brother Brian Kelly Hillenburg, his wife Isabel, and nieces Emma and Hazel.

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