Stephen Hillenburg

Stephen Hillenburg (1961-2018) was an American animator and marine biology teacher. He is best known as the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants. Born in Oklahoma and raised in California, Stephen became interested in the aquatic life and oceans. He also became interested in art and started drawing at a very young age. He studied marine biology in college and became a marine biology teacher at the Orange County Marine Institute. After teaching for three years, he decided to change his career and thus joined an animation program.

He then started working for Nickelodeon’s animated series Rocko’s Modern Life. In the mid-1990s, he came up with the idea of SpongeBob SquarePants. The series premiered in 1999 and eventually became one of the most popular animated series in the history of American television. Stephen went on to receive six Annie Awards and two Emmy Awards for the series. Stephen died ALS at the age of 57 after battling the illness for over a year.