On This Day

Rube Goldberg

Cartoonist Rube Goldberg

Profession: Cartoonist

United States of America

Biography: The American cartoonist Rube Goldberg had a long and very successful career, producing thousands of drawings that were syndicated around the country.

Today he is most remembered for the Rube Goldberg machine, drawings of over-complicated devices designed to perform simple tasks featured in his cartoon series “The Inventions of Professor Lucifer G. Butts” . In fact in 1931 Goldberg became the only person to be included as an adjective in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a 'Rube Goldberg' was “accomplishing by complex means what seemingly could be done simply.”

Rube Goldberg contests, inspired by the cartoonist's drawing began in the 1940s at Perdue University and were revived in 1983. The are now popular nationwide contests.

Born: July 4, 1883
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, USA

Generation: Lost Generation
Star Sign: Cancer

Died: December 7, 1970 (aged 87)
Cause of Death: Cancer

Married Life

  • 1916-10-17 Cartoonist Rube Goldberg (33) weds Irma Seeman

Historical Events

  • 1929-01-26 Rube Goldberg's "The Inventions of Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts, A.K.," cartoon series first published in "Colliers Weekly"

Famous Cartoonists