Rupe was born Arthur N. Goldberg to a Jewish working-class family in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, his foundation said.
He would later change his name to “Rupe” after he moved to California and learned from his paternal grandfather that the family name Goldberg was adopted at Ellis Island, according to his foundation.
After working with an engineering crew testing Liberty ships during World War II, Rupe decided to become a record producer, his foundation said.
He eventually started his own record label, Specialty Records, which would go on to feature many artists, including Roy Milton, Percy Mayfield, Joe and Jimmy Liggins, Lloyd Price, Little Richard, and Sam Cooke.
Rupe is survived by his daughter Beverly and her husband Leo Schwarz as well as his granddaughter Madeline Kahan and her husband Kyle Kahan, his foundation said.