SpongeBob SquarePants creator Stephen Hillenburg dies at 57

Stephen Hillenburg has died at the age of 57.

The news of the death of the creator of the long-running hit animated show SpongeBob SquarePants was via Nickelodeon’s official Twitter on Tuesday. That day, the network marked “a moment of silence to honor his [Hillenburg] life and work.”

The network also released an official statement, which confirmed that Hillenburg passed away due to complications with ALS. It was revealed that Hillenburg suffered from the disease back in March.

“We are incredibly saddened by the news that Steve Hillenburg has passed away following a battle with ALS. He 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.

“Steve imbued SpongeBob SquarePants with a unique sense of humor and innocence that has brought joy to generations of kids and families everywhere,” the statement continued. “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.”