The ballpoint pen was invented by Laszlo Biro in the 1930s, who was a Jewish-Hungarian journalist. During his time editing newspapers, he became very frustrated with the amount of smudging that the fountain pen caused. This made Biro determined to design a more practical pen.
Biro used thicker ink and the sphere at the end of the pen, which allowed the ink to flow onto the paper more smoothly. His design is still used today.
In the late 1800s, a man named John Loud filed a patent for a similar ballpoint pen design, but it was unsuccessful. Biro's design became successful because fighter pilots during World War II needed more efficient pens that didn't leak. Laszlo Biro moved to Argentina to escape the war and found investors that eventually led to the mass production of ballpoint pens.