LOS ANGELES – The author of the animated television series "SpongeBob SquarePants", Stephen Hillenburg, is deceased at 57, the television network of Nickelodeon has been Tuesday afternoon.
Hillenburg had said last year that he suffered from neurodegenerative disease ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig & # 39; s disease.
"We are unhappy saddened by the news that Steve Hillenburg has left for a fight with ALS," said the network in a statement. "He was a friendly friend and long creative partner for everyone at Nickelodeon, and our heart goes to his whole family."
Hillenburg was a marine biologist in Southern California when he began to create seafarers as teachers.
The first episode of "SpongeBob SquarePants", with the strange yellow sailboats and his friends live in the fictional underwater town of Bikini Bottom, in & nbsp; The television is enlightened in May 1999.
The series went to win several prizes, made a series of spin-off books, two Hollywood films and a Broadway musical.
"Steve killed SpongeBob SquarePants with a unique sun of humor and innocence, which has been enjoying generations of children and families everywhere," said the statement of Nickelodeon.
"His early original drawings and the world of Bikini Bottom will be long as a reminder of the value of optimism, friendship and the incomprehensible power of fantasy."