The Artist Birthday Series

Rube Goldberg

Today’s Artist Birthday: Rube Goldberg

Reuben Garrett Lucius “Rube” Goldberg ( San Francisco July 4, 1883 – Hawthorne New York December 7, 1970) was an American cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer, and inventor.

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He is best known for a series of popular cartoons depicting complicated gadgets that perform simple tasks in indirect, convoluted ways, similar to Heath Robinson devices in the UK, as well as the Storm P devices in Denmark. He received many honors in his lifetime, including a Pulitzer Prize for his political cartooning in 1948 and the Banshees’ Silver Lady Award in 1959.

Rube Goldberg won the Pulitzer Prize for this cartoon in 1948
Rube Goldberg won the Pulitzer Prize for this cartoon in 1948

He was a founding member and the first president of the National Cartoonists Society, and he is the namesake of the Reuben Award, which the organization awards to the Cartoonist of the Year. He is the inspiration for various international competitions, known as Rube Goldberg Machine Contests, which challenge participants to make a complicated machine to perform a simple task.

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