July 13 is International Puzzle Day in honor of Ernő Rubik, inventor of the Rubik’s Cube, who was born in Budapest, Hungary on that day in 1944. His father was a flight engineer and his mother was a poet. Perhaps that is why he created his puzzle and toy which is also protected as a work of art.
He attended the Hungarian Academy of Applied Arts and later became professor of Architecture at the Budapest College of Applied Arts. He developed the first Rubik’s Cube, originally called the Magic Cube, made of wood and held together with rubber bands, as a task for his students.
In 1979 he licensed the Magic Cube to Ideal Toys who rebranded it as the Rubik’s Cube. The Rubik’s Cube would go on to become an instant success worldwide, winning several Toy of the Year awards, and becoming a staple of 1980’s popular culture. To date, over 350 million Rubik’s Cubes have been sold, making it the best selling toy of all time.
Since 1981, the Rubik’s Cube as been part of the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection.