According to a report by CNN, on Monday, Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of the animated series Spongebob SquarePants, died at the age of 57. Hillenburg’s reported cause of death was ALS, an illness which he was diagnosed with last year. Nickelodeon said in a statement to Variety, “We are incredibly saddened by the news that Steve Hillenburg has passed away following a battle with ALS.