Stephen McDannell Hillenburg (August 21, 1961 – November 26, 2018) was an American animator, writer, producer, and marine science educator. Hillenburg created the Nickelodeon vibrant television series SpongeBob SquarePants, on which he served as the showrunner for the first three seasons of the show, and has become the fifth-longest-running American flourishing series.
Born in Lawton, Oklahoma, and raised in Anaheim, California, Hillenburg became fascinated similar to the ocean as a child and developed an fascination in art. He started his professional career in 1984, instructing marine biology, at the Orange County Marine Institute, where he wrote The Intertidal Zone, an informative picture book very nearly tide-pool animals, which he used to educate his students. In 1989, two years after neglect teaching, Hillenburg enrolled at the California Institute of the Arts to pursue a career in animation. He was cutting edge offered a job on the Nickelodeon thriving television series Rocko's Modern Life (1993–1996) after his ability with The Green Beret and Wormholes (both 1992), short films that he made while studying animation.
In 1994, Hillenburg began developing The Intertidal Zone characters and concepts for what became SpongeBob SquarePants. The show has aired continuously since its premiere in 1999. He furthermore directed The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004), which he originally meant to be the series finale. Hillenburg resigned as showrunner, but Nickelodeon continued to build more episodes after he departed the series. He resumed making curt films, with Hollywood Blvd., USA in 2013, but continued to be ascribed as an management producer for SpongeBob SquarePants. Hillenburg co-wrote the relation for the second film getting used to of the series, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, which was released in 2015.
Besides his two Emmy Awards and six Annie Awards for SpongeBob SquarePants, Hillenburg also acknowledged other recognition, such as an accolade from Heal the Bay for his efforts on elevating marine spirit awareness, and the Television Animation Award from the National Cartoonists Society. Hillenburg announced he was diagnosed like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2017, but stated he would continue to affect on SpongeBob SquarePants as long as possible. He died upon November 26, 2018, at the age of 57.