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LOS ANGELES (CBSMiami/AP) — Stephen Hillenburg, whose daffy animated cartoon character ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ became an international hit, has died.

He was 57.

Nickelodeon announced his death on Twitter.

He said he had been diagnosed with ALS in 2017.

The show started in 1999 and has more than 240 episodes. It also included two full-length movies.

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