Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants, died on Monday at the age of 57. Nickelodeon shared the news first on Twitter:
💛 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
Mr. Hillenburg told Variety in 2017 that he had been diagnosed with ALS. He died on November 26, 2018 from complications due to the muscle disease.
On Sunday, December 2, Nickelodeon will pay tribute to Hillenburg with an eight-hour marathon of the series he made that transformed the network damatically in its nearly 20 years on-air. Classic episodes from the show’s first three seasons (which Hillenburg was a main part of before departing the series after the first movie in 2004; he returned to the show in the second-half of season nine) will air in the marathon from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET/PT.
SpongeBob SquarePants will continue production as both a series and forthcoming third movie.