WRITTEN BY: Jennifer Brown
On Monday November 26th, Stephen Hillenburg passed away at the age of 57.
Hillenburg was the creator of the Nickelodeon popular cartoon series “Spongebob Squarepants”. His cause of death was ALS; which he revealed he had been diagnosed with last year.
Nickelodeon tweeted out on the day of his death: “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”.
Hillenburg combined his knowledge of marine biology and his artistic skills to create “Spongebob Squarepants”. Its first episode aired on Nickelodeon on May 1, 1999 and has had a total of 250 episodes.
“Spongebob Squarepants” was a show that was universally well liked regardless of age. The show has won both U.S. and British Emmy Awards, been dubbed and subtitled in more than 60 languages, produced two successful movies, and has even been adopted to a broadway musical in New York City.
According to VICE, Isreal Colunga, a fan of Spongebob Squarepants, recently went to Change.org and launched a petition for “sweet victory” to be featured in the halftime show of the Super Bowl 2019 as a tribute to Hillenburg’s legacy. The petition currently has over 70,000 signatures and is still rising.
Many fans are also paying tribute to the creator via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, as well as other social media platforms.
The hit series released its final new episode March 1st, 2018. However, reruns will continue to be aired on Nickelodeon.