Rube Goldberg

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Rube Goldberg

Rube Goldberg (actually Reuben Lucius Goldberg ; born July 4, 1883 in San Francisco , † December 7, 1970 in New York ) was an American cartoonist and co-founder and first president of the National Cartoonists Society , the American association of professional cartoonists.

Live and act

Something for nothing (1940)

In 1904 he graduated from the University of California with an engineering degree and then began working as an engineer for the city of San Francisco . However, his passion for drawing gained the upper hand after a few months and Goldberg quit to start a job at the San Francisco Chronicle as a sports cartoonist. The following year he moved to the San Francisco Bulletin , where he stayed until 1907, when he moved to New York . He wrote there for several newspapers, including the New York Evening Journal , New York Evening Mail and New York Journal . From 1915 his various comics, such as Mike and Ike , Boob McNutt , Foolish Questions , Lala Palooza and The Weekly Meeting of the Tuesday Women's Club , were marketed throughout the USA.

His best-known comic, however, was the one about Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts , in which absurdly complicated apparatuses for the accomplishment of the simplest tasks were depicted again and again, making the name Rube Goldberg or the term “ Rube Goldberg machine ” proverbial for unnecessarily complicated technical solutions has been.

In 1938 he took a job with the New York Sun , where he drew political cartoons, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize in 1948 .

Most recently, until his retirement in 1964, he worked for the New York Journal-American . In retirement he made bronze sculptures and several exhibitions of his works were organized, most recently in 1970 at the National Museum of American History in Washington . Goldberg died on December 7, 1970 and was buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Hawthorne .


  • John F. Oppenheimer (Red.) And a .: Lexicon of Judaism. 2nd Edition. Bertelsmann Lexikon Verlag, Gütersloh u. a. 1971, ISBN 3-570-05964-2 , col. 247.

Web links

Commons : Rube Goldberg  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual proof

  1. The writer William S. Burroughs, for example, used the phrase in his Yage Letters from 1963: "The boat owners have the inventiveness of a Rube Goldberg ..." (William S. Burroughs: On the search for Yage , Matthes & Seitz Verlag, Berlin 1992.)