Reuben Garret L. Goldberg (July 4, 1883 - December 7, 1970) was an American cartoonist. He earned lasting fame for his Rube Goldberg machines (complex devices that perform simple tasks in indirect and convoluted ways). He was awarded the National Cartoonist Society Gold Key Award posthumously in 1980.
Goldberg went to Lowell High School in San Francisco in 1900 and earned a degree in engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1904. After 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 quit the city job 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 he moved 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 1948.