By Sarah Harr
Since its debut on May 1, 1999, SpongeBob SquarePants has become a staple of American children’s entertainment. To most of those growing up in the early to mid 2000s, this yellow cartoon sponge brings to mind countless hours spent with eyes glued to the television screen, singing along with the unforgettable theme song, and laughing as the colorful characters on-screen performed their unusual antics each episode. With all the media and merchandise that SpongeBob has acquired – toys, books, clothes, backpacks, lunch boxes, coffee mugs, and more – it is nearly impossible to find anyone in the nation who is unable to identify one of the world’s most popular cartoon characters. SpongeBob SquarePants has become a cultural phenomenon; but, how many people know the mastermind behind this sensational sponge?