SpongeBob SquarePants creator Stephen Hillenburg has sadly passed away the age of 57.

Television station Nickelodeon stated that Hillenburg passed away on Monday, after suffering from motor neurone disease, otherwise known as ALS.

Hillenburg wrote, produced and directed the SpongeBob Squarepants animated series since it’s inception in 1999. The rest, as they say, his history. The series has gone on to spawn hundreds of episodes, movies and also made a stint on Broadway.

Hillenburg is said to have drawn on his teaching experience at the Orange County Marine Institute to create the show.

Nickelodeon shared their condolences regarding the news on Twitter.

Hillenburg first announced his battle with ALS in March 2017 and stated that he wanted to continue to work on the SpongeBob Squarepants series for as long as he was able to.

We send our condolences to Stephen Hillenburg’s family during this difficult time. We would also like to thank Hillenburg for creating a childhood favorite, a series of characters that will stay with us forever.

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