Stephen Hillenburg, best known as the creator of Nickelodeon's long-running animated series SpongeBob SquarePants died on Monday, November 27, at just 57 years old.

The network behind SpongeBob confirmed the sad news on Twitter Monday afternoon, saying, "We are sad to share the news of the passing of Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBb SquarePants. Today we are observing a moment of silence to honor his life and work."

Hillenburg's death comes after his battle with ALS, which he revealed he was diagnosed with in March 2017.

In a full statement released by Nickelodeon, the company writes:

"We are incredibly saddened by the news that Steve Hillenburg has passed away following a battle with ALS. He was a beloved friend and long-time creative partner to everyone at Nickelodeon, and our hearts go out to his entire family. Steve imbued SpongeBob SquarePants with a unique sense of humor and innocence that has brought joy to generations of kids and families everywhere. 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"

Hillenburg got his big break in the biz as a director for Nickelodeon's hit '90s animated series Rocko's Modern Life, before creating SpongeBob in 1999. Hillenburg also directed The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie in 2004, and co-wrote 2015's The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.

More on the story as it develops.

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