Answer by Peter Hung:
Ernő Rubik, Hungarian architect and designer, invented the Rubik's Cube in 1974.
The story behind it is fascinating. He was curious to see if he could design a box that could twist and turn about itself. It would naturally require distinct pieces, so the trick was figuring out how to attach them to each other without restricting movement. He tried rubber bands and strings before coming up with the present "hook" design where protruding inner portions would be held inside by a center spindle.
Apparently, when he figured this out, he painted the sides and scrambled it up gleefully. Then when he tried and struggled to realign the blocks… a puzzle was born.