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Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of the popular cartoon “SpongeBob SquarePants,” died Monday at the age of 57. The cause was ALS, which he revealed he had been diagnosed with in March 2017. “We are incredibly saddened by the news that Steve Hillenburg has passed away following a battle with ALS,” said Nickelodeon in a statement. “He was a beloved friend and long-time creative partner to everyone at Nickelodeon, and our hearts go out to his entire family.”