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Stephen Hillenburg
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Hillenburg in 2011
Stephen McDannell Hillenburg

(1961-08-21)August 21, 1961
Died November 26, 2018(2018-11-26) (aged 57)
Cause of death Complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Other names Steve Hillenburg
Alma mater Humboldt State University
Occupation Marine biologist, scientist, teacher, animator, television director, television producer, writer
Years active 1991–2018
Known for Rocko's Modern Life,
SpongeBob SquarePants,
The Intertidal Zone
Spouse(s) Karen Hillenburg
Stephen Hillenburg signature.svg

Stephen McDannell Hillenburg (August 21, 1961 – November 26, 2018) was an American marine biologist, marine scientist, animator, writer, producer, actor, voice actor, and director. He was best known for creating the Nickelodeon animated series SpongeBob SquarePants.

Hillenburg was born in Lawton, Oklahoma at a United States Army base. He was raised in Anaheim, California. He studied at Humboldt State University where he majored in marine biology and minored in arts. Hillenburg was inspired by Jacques Cousteau and Max Fleischer.

In March 2017, Hillenburg was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) which is a terminal illness that affects the nervous system. He died from complications of the disease on November 26, 2018 in San Marino, California at the age of 57.

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