'Spongebob Squarepants' Creator Stephen Hillenburg Has Died At 57

Stephen created the iconic Spongebob franchise.

November 27, 2018

Andres Otero/Sipa USA via USA TODAY NETWORK

If you know me at all, you know that I'm obsessed with 2 things... Taylor Swift and Spongebob Squarepants.

My office is decked out in images and statues of both Taylor and the loveable sponge known as Spongebob. 

I remember watching the very first episode of Spongebob way back in 1999 when it premiered after the Kid's Choice Awards. I was hooked. (Pun absolutely intended.)

Since, I have seen every episode, TV special, I bought tickets to both movies and I even have to catch the Spongebob part in the parade at Universal Orlando Resort.

It's safe to say, I'm a huge fan.

I was gutted a few months back when I found out that the creator of Spongebob, Stephen Hillenburg, had been battling ALS and today, news broke that Stephen has passed away at 57 years young.

Stephen was a marine biology professor in California as well as a writer on the hit 90s cartoon Rocko's Modern Life. (Another Nickelodeon show I loved!)

In 1999, he watched as his creation, Spongebob Squarepants came to life and aired its first episode. His two loves, marine life and animation married in one cartoon that would stand the test of time and changing climates and adapt to a more plugged in society. 

Since 1999, Spongebob Squarepants has aired 250 episodes, 2 major films, countless TV specials, and he graces the streets of New York every year in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, as well as theme parks, big box retailers, apps, and much much more.

His laugh is iconic (thanks to his voice actor Tom Kenny) and he's the most recognizeable sponge on land and sea.

CJ and family with Spongebob Squarepants

I hope Stephen knew just how loved his creation was. How that yellow sponge created a bond between families such as mine. My niece Lily and I are "Spongebob buddies" because we'd watch the show together when she was younger. We still text each other till this day when we watch the show.

I hope that Spongebob lives on to remind people how precious our oceans area. After all, the town of Bikini Bottom is literally made up of sea junk. (Fish live in car mufflers, the Krusty Krab is a crab trap, the Chum Bucket is a sand pale, and Mr Krabs lives in an old anchor. 

I hope that new generations get to enjoy the pure joy this character brought to niece and I. Most of all, I hope we never forget, "who lives in a pineapple under the sea...."