Stephen Hillenburg Net Worth

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Stephen Hillenburg Net Worth: What is Stephen Hillenburg Net Worth and how did the animator amass such a huge net worth? Check out all that you wanted to know about Stephen Hillenburg, the famous American animator; his birthday, family and personal life.

Who is Stephen Hillenburg?

Stephen Hillenburg Net Worth
Stephen Hillenburg Net Worth

I bet you have watched the Nickelodeon cartoon ‘SpongeBob SquarePants‘ at least once or have heard about the cartoon before.

Personally, I feel everyone has! At least those who have televisions and access to cable. But, however, many who have seen the cartoon are not aware of its creator.

With that in mind, let me introduce Stephen Hillenburg to you, and in case you don’t know, he is the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants.

Stephen was born on the 21 of August 1961, in Lawton, Oklahoma to parents Kelly N. and Nancy Hillenburg. He was an American animator, voice actor, and marine science educator.

Net Worth$120 Million
Profession Animator, Voice Actor, and Marine Science Educator
Date of Birth21 of August 1961
Date of Death26 of November 2018

He grew up in Anaheim, California, and as a child, he was fascinated by the ocean which led to his love for art.

Stephen started his career in the early ’80s as a marine biologist at the Orange County Marine Institute. While there, he wrote an informative comic book about tide-pool animals titled ‘The Intertidal Zone’.

Stephen used the book as a tool to educate his students. Moving on, Stephen left teaching in 198 and two years later, enrolled at the California Institute of the Arts to pursue a career in animation.

Eventually, he landed a job to work in the Nickelodeon animated television series Rocko’s Modern Life from 1993 to 96.

The opportunity came after his success with The Green Beret and Wormholes, both in 1992, short films that he made while studying animation.

Furthermore, Stephen had a desire to expand his vision. And so, he started developing The Intertidal Zone characters and concepts in 1994 which would later become SpongeBob SquarePants.

And since its premiere in 1999, the show SpongeBob SquarePants.has aired continuously to date. He also directed The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004), which he originally intended to be the series finale.

However, Stephen resigned as the showrunner after Nickelodeon announced their intention to produce more episodes of the show. He returned back to making short films with Hollywood Blvd., USA (2013).

Stephen Hillenburg marked his return to the SpongeBob franchise in 2015, in the second adaptation of the series titled The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. Stephen co-wrote the story and acted as an executive producer on the project.

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He has been awarded 2 Emmy Awards and Six Annie Awards for SpongeBob SquarePants, as well as other accolades and recognition too numerous to mention.

Stephen announced in 2017 that he would continue to work on the SpongeBob franchise as long as possible despite being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in the same year.

Sadly, the cartoonist and animation expert drew his last breathe on the 26 of November 2018 at the age of 57. The cause of his death, heart failure brought by the disease he had struggled with for a long time, ALS.

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Personal Life

Stephen married Karen, a Southern California chef and the New School of Cooking in Culver City teacher. The couple tied the knot in 1998.

He said that Karen was the funniest person that he knew. Together, the couple had their first and only child named Clay. Stephen lived in San Marino, California, with his family before his death.

Stephen Hillenburg Net Worth
Stephen Hillenburg Net Worth

Some of Stephen Hillenburg’s hobbies include surfing, snorkelling, scuba diving, Swimming, and performing “noisy rock music” on his guitar.

He also enjoyed birdwatching at home. Stephen likes the private life and prefers to keep away from all the media attention as possible.

He stated about himself,

“I make animation because I like to draw and create things. I have no real interest to be on camera or to be a celebrity. It’s not that I don’t like people, but I like having my privacy.”

– Stephen Hillenburg

In 2005, Stephen and his wife, Karen also launched the United Plankton Charitable Trust, a foundation through which Stephen and his wife have used to carryout numerous projects and philanthropy works.

Net Worth of Stephen Hillenburg

As of 2019, the legendary cartoonist and animation expert, Stephen Hillenburg, has a net worth valued at $120 million. He amassed his hefty net worth from his career as an animator, voice actor, and marine science educator.

Such a huge fortune could still be of great use to the late actor and cartoonist if he were still alive.

However, he’ll continue to be remembered for his excellent work and for the happiness and laughter he brought to the faces of millions of kids around the world.

Awards and Recognitions

  • He won the award for Best Concept at the Ottawa International Animation Festival for ‘Wormholes’ in 1992.
  • In 2001, Stephen was honored by the Heal the Bay, not for profit organization with its Walk the Talk Award.
  • Stephen was awarded the Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program in 2010.
  • He won the 2014 Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Editing.
  • That was followed by the Television Animation Award from the National Cartoonists Societies.
  • He was given the Princess Grace Statue Award from the Princess Grace Foundation.
  • Lastly, Stephen was awarded the Winsor McCay Award at the 45th Annie Awards in 2018.

Facts About Stephen Hillenburg

  • Before his death, he was called a “Perfectionist Workaholic” by his colleagues
  • Stephen Hillenburg also directed the 2004 SpongeBob SquarePants movie.
  • His SpongeBob character faced controversy when a promotional video released in 2005.
  • Before his death, the estimated net worth of Stephen Hillengurg is valued at $120 million in 2018.
  • Stephen was accused by James Dobson of Focus on the Family, who claimed Stephen’s video promoted homosexuality.
  • He disclosed in March 2017 that he had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the disease that later caused his death.

What can you say about Stephen Hillenburg’s net worth? Kindly drop a comment below


About Author

David Samuel is the Senior Writer for Porumba. He is a writer, Economist and loves research.