Having spent his career working on some of the most popular and influential cartoons of recent memory, Stephen Hillenburg today passed away from Motor Neurone disease, aged 57.

Stephen was most famous for creating ‘Spongebob Squarepants’, the most popular cartoon in Nickelodeon history- as well as being a major contributor to ‘Rocko’s modern life’.

Stephen worked on SpongeBob Squarepants from 1997, having developed the concept while working as a marine biologist in the 1980s, until 2004. He then took a decade’s hiatus and returned to the show in 2014 with the film adaptation ‘Sponge out of water’.

His death was the result of ALS, aka ‘Motor Neurone Disease’, the same condition that bound physicist Stephen Hawking to a wheelchair for most of his life. He revealed in March 2017 that he was suffering from the condition in an interview with Variety magazine.

Stephen Hillenburg is survived by his wife, Karen Umland, and his son, Clay.

As massive fans of cartoons, we here at Respawning.co.uk salute Stephen Hillenburg for his wit, his passion for the medium, and for the happy memories he brought to our younger years and adulthoods alike.