Stephen Hillenburg, creator of SpongeBob SquarePants cartoon series, has died.
Hillenburg died on Tuesday at the age of 57. The cause of death was motor neurone disease also known as ALS.
In a tweet, Nickelodeon, an American television channel, expressed sadness over his passing.
The channel said it would observe a moment of silence to honour his life and work.
“We are sad to share the news of the passing of Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants. Today, we are observing a moment of silence to honor his life and work,” the channel tweeted.
💛 We are sad to share the news of the passing of Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants. Today, we are observing a moment of silence to honor his life and work. 💛
— Nickelodeon (@Nickelodeon) November 27, 2018
The successful cartoon series has more than 200 episodes and has been made into two films.
The films ‘SpongeBob SquarePants Movie’ was released in 2004 and ‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water’, its sequel, was released in 2015. He produced both flicks.
“Steve imbued ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ with a unique sense of humour and innocence that has brought joy to generations of kids and families everywhere,” a statement from Nickelodeon read.
“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.”
He is survived by Karen Hillenburg, his wife, and Clay, his son.
Hillenburg was born on August 21, 1961, at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma.