Ernõ Rubik (born July 13, 1944) is a Hungarian inventor whose name is known globally due to the popularity of the cube puzzle that bears his name. Born in Budapest, Rubik studied sculpture in college, then architecture at the Academy of Applied Arts and Design, where he taught interior design and invented his world-famous puzzle cube. His invention went on to become the most popular puzzle game of all time, making Rubik the first self-made millionaire from the communist bloc.
While working as a professor in Budapest, Rubik became intrigued with a structural design problem. He wanted to construct a cube with adjustable squares on each side that would move independently without the entire structure falling apart. In 1974, he came up with a solution, hand-carved the blocks and marked each side of the cube with a different color. He then tested his invention, twisting the blocks in various ways to see if they held together. It was only when he discovered how challenging it was to realign the colors to match on each side that he realized his invention could be used as a puzzle.
With over 350 million units sold, Rubik's Cube holds the record as the world's best-selling puzzle toy. Today, there are many spin-offs of Rubik's Cube, some proving to be even more complex than the original. The Rubik's company now produces many different puzzles, and the majority of them are commercially available today.