Hillenburg was a marine biology teacher in southern California when he started creating marine creatures as teaching tools.
First program of SpongeBob SquarePants, showing the golden yellow sponge and her friends who are living in the underwater fiction town of Bikini Bottom, was broadcast on television in May 1999.
The series went on to win several awards, and # 39; Produce a series of energy books, two Hollywood films and Broadway music.
LEABH: Stan Lee's lament, Marvel's lament, will die
"Steve looked at SpongeBob SquarePants with an awesome and unhealthy awareness that gave birth to the generation of children and families everywhere," said Nickelodeon. "His very original characters and the Bikini Bottom world will stand all the time in memory of hope, friendship and imaginative power without end."