Nickelodeon Marks 'Spongebob SquarePants' Creator Stephen Hillenburg's Death With Moment of Silence

Nickelodeon paid tribute to Spongebob SquarePants creator Stephen Hillenburg's with a touching message on social media.

The beloved television producer died more than a year after he was diagnosed with ALS in March 2017. He was 57.

After announcing the news, the network took to social media to tell its followers it would be honoring the creator of the fan-favorite animated series with a moment of silence.

"We are sad to share the news of the passing of Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants. Today, we are observing a moment of silence to honor his life and work," the children-aimed network wrote on social media.

Fans of the award-winning producer responded to the Twitter tribute with messages of grief for the tragic loss.

"Rest In Peace Stephen Hillenburg. :,( We will never forget you," one user wrote.

"R.I.P man, Spongebob was my favorite show as a kid and I always watched an episode when I could. Gone But Always Remembered," another user commented.

"Goodbye old friend," another user wrote.

Nickelodeon broke the news of Hillenburg's death early Tuesday, shocking fans young and older of the fan-favorite series centered on the citizens of Bikini Bottom.

"We are incredibly saddened by the news that Steve Hillenburg has passed away following a battle with ALS," the network wrote in a statement on Tuesday. "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."

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Hillenburg's inspiration for Spongebob Squarepants came from his interest in marine biology, combined with his talent for creating and illustrating stories. Aside from creating the popular animated series, Hillenburg is also known for his work producing, directing and writing on Nickelodeon hit series Rocko's Modern Life.

Hillenburg was born on Aug. 21, 1961, in Oklahoma. He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Karen Hillenburg, son Clay, mother Nancy, brother Brian Kelly Hillenburg his wife Isabel and their daughters Emma and Hazel.