Reuben Garret L. Goldberg (July 4, 1883 - December 7, 1970) was a cofounder and president of the American National Cartoonists Society. He is one of the most famous cartoonists in history, who earned lasting fame for his Rube Goldberg machines (exceedingly complex devices that perform simple tasks in very indirect and convoluted ways). Cartoonist Goldberg was posthumously awarded the National Cartoonist Society Gold Key Award in 1980.
Goldberg graduated from Lowell High School in 1900 and earned a degree in engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1904. Out of college, Goldberg was hired by the city of San Francisco as an engineer. However, his fondness for drawing cartoons prevailed, and after just a few months he left the city to employ for a job with the San Francisco Chronicle as a sports cartoonist. The following year he took a job with the San Francisco Bulletin, where he remained until relocated to New York City in 1907. He drew cartoons for several newspapers, including the New York Evening Journal and the New York Evening Mail. His work entered syndication in 1915, beginning his nationwide popularity. A prolific artist, Goldberg produced several cartoon series simultaneously; titles included Mike and Ike, Boob McNutt, Foolish Questions, Lala Palooza, and The Weekly Meeting of the Tuesday Women's Club. While these series were quite popular, the one leading to his lasting fame involved a character named Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts. In this series, Goldberg would draw labeled schematics of comical "inventions" which would later bear his name. In 1995, "Rube Goldberg's Inventions", depicting Professor Butts' Self-Operating Napkin, was one of 20 strips included in the Comic Strip Classics series of commemorative U.S. postage stamps. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his political cartooning in 1942.
Later in his career, Goldberg was employed by the New York Journal American, and remained there until his retirement in 1964. During his retirement, he occupied himself by making bronze sculptures. Several one-man shows of his work were organized, the last one of his lifetime being in 1970 at the National Museum of American History (then called the Museum of History and Technology) in Washington, D.C.. Shortly after, he died at the age of 87; he is buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York.
In addition to his Pulitzer Prize in 1948, he received the National Cartoonist Society Gold T-Square Award in 1955, their Reuben Award for 1969, and was given their Gold Key Award (their Hall of Fame) posthumously in 1980.
Rube Goldberg Cartoon
Rube Goldberg machines
A Rube Goldberg machine or device is any exceedingly complex apparatus that performs a very simple task in a very indirect and convoluted way. Rube devised such pataphysical devices. The best examples of his machines have an anticipation factor: the fact that something so wacky is happening can only be topped by it happening in a suspenseful manner. The term also applies as a classification for a generally over-complicated apparatus or software. It first appeared in Webster's Third New International Dictionary with the definition, "accomplishing by extremely complex roundabout means what actually or seemingly could be done simply."
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