The Legendary Spongebob Squarepants Creator Died at Age 57

Back to Article
Back to Article

The Legendary Spongebob Squarepants Creator Died at Age 57

By Sera Ryherd, Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Stephen Hillenburg was born on August 21st, 1961. He was born in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, USA, then he was raised in Anaheim, California. Hillenburg is married and he has one kid named Clay. Whenever Hillenburg was a child, he was fascinated by the ocean, Then he developed an interest in art. He started his professional career in 1984, he started to teach marine biology. He started to teach at Orange County Marine Institute. Hillenburg wrote The Intertidal Zone, its an informative comic book about tide-pool animals, he used it to teach his students. After some time, he decided to quit teaching. Two years later, 1989, Hillenburg decided to enroll at California Institute of the Arts so he could pursue a career in animation. Later on, he was offered a job by Nickelodeon. They wanted Hillenburg to work on the show called, “Rocko’s Modern Life” which ran from 1993 to 1996. After his little success with his short films called, “The Green Beret” and “Wormholes” both from 1992. He made both of those while he was studying animation.

In 1994, Hillenburg started to develop, “The Intertidal Zone” he started developing the characters and then the concepts for the show and then it turned to Spongebob Squarepants. The show ended up airing in 1999, and has been on the air since. He also directed the Spongebob Squarepants Movie that was made in 2004. Hillenburg wants Spongebob to end after the movie aired. He wanted the movie to be the series finale, but Nickelodeon wanted to produce more episodes and let the series run longer after the movies release. Hillenburg still didn’t want to continue after that, so he resigned as the show runner in 2004. So he decided to continue working on more short films with Hollywood Blvd.

Another Spongebob movie came out called, “The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” in 2015. It was a sequel to the 2004 movie. Hillenburg has decided to come back to Spongebob. Hillenburg co-wrote the story, and he acted as the executive producer of the new movie.

After Hillenburg won two Emmy and six Annie Awards for Spongebob Squarepants, Hillenburg has also received some other recognition. Stuff just like, an accolade from Heal the Bay for his efforts on helping marine life awareness. He was also recognized for the Television Animation Award from the National Cartoonists Society.

Spongebob Squarepants wasn’t supposed to be called, “Spongebob Squarepants”. It was actually supposed to be called, “SpongeBoy Ahoy!” and Spongebob’s name was supposed to be, “SpongeBoy”. It didn’t get to happen because the names were already trademarked. So they changed it all to Spongebob Squarepants.

Hillenburg has done a LOT of jobs. Like he was a chef, voice actor, film director, animator, film producer, etc. He has done a lot of things for television shows.

Stephen Hillenburg has recently passed away. Hillenburg was diagnosed with ALS which is called, “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” a year and a half ago. He died on November 26th, 2018. He was 57 years old. He was diagnosed March 2017. He battled on ALS for that time being. They decided to spread his ashes at the sea.