Stephen Hillenburg, creator of the famous cartoons sponge Bob, died on Monday, 26, according to Variety. The American animator and producer had announced in March 2017 that he had been diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a neurodegenerative pathology for which there is no cure. "I want people to know from my mouth that I have been diagnosed with ELA." Anyone who knows me will know that I will continue working on sponge Bob and the rest of my passions as long as possible, "the animator said in a statement Hillenburg has died at age 57." We are incredibly sad about the news that Steve Hillenburgh has died after a battle against the Commonwealth " , a representative of the Nickelodeon television channel said in a statement.
After graduating in studies of exploitation of natural resources by the Humbold State University of California and specializing in marine resources, Hillenburgh began his career in animation in 1987 participating in several short films. In 1992 he signed the film Wormholes, through which he came into contact with Joe Murray, creator of the series Rocko's Modern Life, in Nickelodeon, in which he participated as a scriptwriter and creative director. In it he would meet Tom Kenny, who later gave voice to SpongeBob in the original version of the series.
In 1998, and based on some drawings he made during his time at the Oceanic Institute, Hillenburg developed the pilot chapter of what would end up being his most famous creation. At that time, his name was SpongeBoy (sponge boy), but being a name that was already registered, they changed it to SpongeBob (SpongeBob). The series premiered on Nickelodeon on May 1, 1999. The success of the drawings was such that in 2004 it even had a movie version. That same year, the creator of the character left the executive production of the series to go into other projects. But after the second movie, SpongeBob: A hero out of water (2015), he resumed his position as producer of the film and the series.
In 2007, the magazine Time qualified sponge Bob as one of the most important television programs in history. The series has aired on about 40 channels around the world. In Spain it has been seen in Antena 3, Clan and Cuatro.