Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of the legendary Nickelodeon cartoon series “SpongeBob SquarePants,” has died. He was 57 years old, but make no mistake, in what most of us would consider a short amount of time, Hillenburg used his imagination to leave a legacy that will bring joy and laughs to many generations to come.
One thing I learned about Hillenburg is, while he was always an artist, after college he ended up becoming a marine biology teacher for several years at the Ocean Institute. Eventually, as a part of moving their mission to educate the public about marine science forward, he was asked to develop an educational comic book on tidal pool animal life. That project spawned so many bigger ideas, including the characters from SpongeBob Squarepants. It’s the biggest example of our mantra brought to life, ‘Imagine More.’
Hillenburg realized he wanted to make a living as an artist and there are so many people glad that he did. I can remember the day ‘SpongeBob’ premiered and so many young minds to come will also have memories attached to the iconic series, which just started an idea. We salute you, Stephen Hillenburg. Rest in peace.