In order to develop the underwater world of Bikini Bottom, Stephen Hillenburg used his drawings and marine biology knowledge. In this Tuesday, the man who created SpongeBob SquarePants has passed away at the age of 57. The shocking news was confirmed by the network that has broadcast the hugely popular cartoon series since 1999, Nickelodeon.


According to the CNN, he has died by following a battle with the neurodegenerative disease ALS.

“[Hillenburg] was a beloved friend and long-time creative partner to everyone at Nickelodeon, and our hearts go out to his entire family,” the network said in a statement to CNN on Tuesday. “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.”

He is a graduate of Humboldt State University in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Planning and Interpretation, emphasizing on marine resources. Therefore, he created his path in the field of marine biology and became a teacher in Orange County Marine Institute in Dana Point, California. However, combine this experience with the Master of Fine Arts he received in 1992 and you will understand why Hillenburg was very good at creating stories as teaching tools.

SpongeBob Squarepants has nearly 205 episodes up until today. SpongeBob and his various underwater-dwelling friends air in more than 200 countries and been translated into more 50 languages. It has earned numerous awards during its run, including four Emmy Awards. He has done a great job, therefore. Though he died his work won’t be forgotten. After hearing this devastating news, many people have grieved over him and have shared acknowledgments in order to honor him.

(h/t variety)

We have collected some of them and invite you to pay your respect.

#1 Stephen Hillenburg Tribute

#2 We’re Saddened To Hear That Stephen Hillenburg, Creator Of

#3 Rest In Peace, Stephen Hillenburg

#4 I’ve Always Wanted To Live In A Pineapple Under The Sea Rip Stephen Hillenburg

#5 Stephen Hillenburg Was A Real Inspiration For Me. He Took A Goofy Idea And Turned It Into One Of The Greatest Cartoons In Animation History

#6 Stephen Hillenburg Tribute

#7 Stephen Hillenburg’s Passing Caught Me By Complete Surprise I Cannot Thank Him Enough For Enlightening My Childhood With Spongebob Squarepants. Rest Easy, Sir

#8 Thank You, Stephen Hillenburg,

#9 Why Are You Leaving Us So Soon? Rip Stephen Hillenburg (1961-2018)

#10 Rip Stephen Hillenburg, Spongebob Squarepants’ Creator

#11 Working On Some Tribute Art For Stephen Hillenburg

#12 Are You Ready, Kids To Say Good-Bye, Stephen? I Said, Are You Ready?

#13 Au Revoir, Mr. Hillenburg

#14 Thank You So Much Mr.hillenburg, you Made My Childhood Colourfull And Funny, I Hope Spongebob Squarepants Is Never Die, Too thanks A Lot, Rest In Peace

#15 Rest In Peace To Mr. Stephen Hillenburg For Creating The Show That Had The Biggest Impact On Me And My Childhood, As Well As A Lot Of My Current Sense Of Humour. You’ll Be Missed Dearly

#16 Stephen Hillenburg Tribute

#17 Thanks For The Laughs

#18 Stephen Hillenburg Tribute

#19 Part Of My Drive To Be A Cartoonist Is Because Of Stephen Hillenburg. So, Thanks

#20 Rest In Peace Stephen Hillenburg. You’re With Those Other Great Creators Of Our Childhood, Rest Well In Your Pineapple In The Sky

#21 Bobby (Dedicated To Stephen Hillenburg)

#22 Spongebob Squarepants Maybe Is Having Fun With Stephen Hillenburg Now… It´s Nice Think In That

#23 Thank You

#24 Sad Day For Bikini Bottom

#25 R.I.P

#26 Stephen Hillenburg Tribute

#27 Goodbye

#28 RIP To Stephen Hillenburg. One Of The Founding Fathers Of My Childhood

#29 Stephen Hillenburg Will Be Greatly Missed. He Was A Huge Artistic Inspiration For Me, And Many Others…

#30 Very Quick Tribute To

#31 Thank You, Stephen. Rest In Peace

#32 Rest In Peace, Stephen, You Absolute Legend

#33 Spongebob Made Me So Bright, Made Me So Happy. You Have Brighten My Childhood And Adulthood, I Still Watch And Love Spongebob Till Now. May You Have Rest In Peace, Stephan Hillenburg

#34 So Sad To Hear That Stephen Hillenburg Passed Away Yesterday. His Legacy And Creation Will Live On Forever And Ever

#35 It’s Dedicated To The Creator Of The Greatest Influence Of Our Upbringing, And I’m Pretty Sure The Inventor Of Electricity

#36 It’s A Sad Day In Bikini Bottom, But Tomorrow Will Be An Awesome Day At The Krusty Krab. Thanks For So Many Good Times

#37 Who Lives In A Pineapple Under The Sea?

#38 Rip Stephen Hillenburg, A Man Who Truly Shaped So Many Of Our Childhoods And Changed The World Of Cartoons Forever. Thank You So Much For Your Creativity And Thank You For The Laughs

#39 Stephen Hillenburg Tribute

#40 Man I Was So Shocked When I Heard That

#41 Rip Stephen Hillenburg

#42 Been A Sad Couple Of Weeks Right After Stan Lee Another Legend From Our Childhood Has Passed May They Never Be Forgotten

#43 Rest Easy Hillenburg, Thanks For The Laughs

#44 Stephen Hillenburg

#45 I Am Extremely Sad About The News Of Sponge Bob Creator Stephen Hillenburg Passing Away

#46 R. I. P. Stephen Hillenburg

#47 Sad To Hear

#48 Rest In Peace

#49 Rip Stephen Hillenburg

#50 R.i.p. Stephen Hillenburg, Creator Of One Of The Most Imaginative, Fun, Innocent And Brilliant Worlds That No One With A Sliver Of An Imagination Could Ever Grow Out Of

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