Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of children’s animated series, “SpongeBob Squarepants,” has passed away on Monday, November 26 at the age of 57.
His family’s lawyer, Susan Grode, confirmed that after battling Lou Gehrig’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Hillenburg succumbed to his ailment in his home near Los Angeles, California.
“SpongeBob Squarepants” is the brainchild of Hillenburg who also directed, wrote, and produced it.
The children’s programming later blossomed into hundreds of episodes and films, as well as a Broadway play.
Hillenburg will undoubtedly be remembered for his legacy of giving value to the bodies of water, particularly the ocean.
The animator began his career serving as a marine biology educator at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, California.
During this stint, Hillenburg believed that it would be best to teach his young audiences about saving the oceans.
These bodies of water are currently bedeviled by global warming and other threats like the dumping of industrial waste, slowly resulting in ocean pollution.
With this thought in mind, Hillenburg was inspired to make the enduringly famous “SpongeBob Squarepants” which is an offshoot of his interest for cartooning and marine life.
Crystallizing in 1999, the show’s major characters include the yellow and absorbent sponge named SpongeBob who thrived in an imaginary town called Bikini Bottom.
The lead personality looked like the typical kitchen sponge. Large-eyed SpongeBob is recognized for wearing a necktie, shorts, and an oversized pair of black shoes.
His gap tooth and overbite are among his prominent physical features.
The optimistic SpongeBob is joined by his best friend, Patrick Star, a pink starfish who, although wasn’t bright, proved to be a loyal companion.
The five-time Emmy prize-winning show was well received and metamorphosed into a cultural phenomenon.
Its young audience learned more about ocean creatures through the other anthropomorphic characters who were SpongeBob’s friends.
Among them are Mr. Krabs, the irritable proprietor of the fictional diner called Krusty Krab, and Squidward Tentacles who is the unfriendly octopus.
Bikini Bottom is also challenged by Plankton, the evildoer who planned to copy the Krusty Krab’s signature menu item, the Krabbie Patties.
In March 2017, Hillenburg disclosed that he had ALS. He mentioned that people have to work together and know about the significance of the oceans.
A supporter of ocean conservation, Hillenburg described these bodies of water as valuable.
He cited that when people watch “SpongeBob Squarepants,” he would like them to realize the same sentiment that he has.
He wanted people to take care of the oceans because they also give care to the people.