Nickelodeon sadly informed the world that Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of Spongebob Squarepants, has died after a battle with ALS. Obviously, this is really depressing for all us 90's kids who grew up with Spongebob, Patrick, Squidward, and all of the characters he created. The fact that it hasn't been that long since the death of Stan Lee adds to the pain.
Hillenburg's work on Spongebob can be considered legendary since the show debuted in the late '90s and is still going on to this day. While some have argued that the later seasons have lost the edge and humor from earlier episodes, there's no doubt that the show has left a huge impact on pop culture.
This is the official statement from Nickelodeon (via ComicBook.com):
"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."
Steve might be gone but his legacy will live on forever. Not only is Spongebob Squarepants still airing to this day but there is also a new movie coming out, which will supposedly deal with his origins. If it's half as funny as the last film, no one will mind.