The saying goes “Who isn’t strong, must be smart.” This is not meant literally of course: Strong people can have a high IQ.
Cleverness is a wanted skill today in many companies and other environments. Our whole educational system is built around making people smarter. The smarter, the better.
Measuring is knowing is often said. Mankind has tried for years to measure how smart someone is. Intelligence to be precise. The most famous attempt to measure intelligence is still being used today, the so called intelligence-quotient or IQ test.
Because everyone today thinks about IQ when thinking about intelligence we based our top 10 of smartest people on these IQ scores. However because this test has only been applied since somewhere in the last century we’re going to give estimates for some people that lived before that time. IQ scores are still guesswork after all.
10) Leonardo da Vinci (IQ 180-190) and Albert Einstein (IQ 160-190)
The 10th spot is reserved for 2 historical figures we all know: Leonardo Da Vinci and Abert Einstein. Neither of them have ever done an IQ-test so their IQ scores are estimates.
The German Albert Einstein (who moved to the US) was interested in physics, mechanics and mathematics. He is very know for his work in kwantum theory (physics of small particles) and the general relativity theory. For the last one he even received the Nobel price. He died at the age of 76. They estimate his IQ between 160 and 190.
The Italian Leonardo DaVinci was from before Einstein’s time. He was born in 1452. He was interested in a lot of science domains. He was a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, inventor, engineer, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer. He was known for the inventions he made and those that he had inn his mind and put on paper. Also he was able to mirror write. His IQ is estimated between 180 and 190.
9) Marilyn Vos Savant (IQ 190)
It is good to see there is a woman in this IQ list. Unfortunately only one. Marylin was born in 1946 and has an IQ of 190. She works as a columnist and besides that she writes books and plays. In the column she had she solved puzzles that readers would send her.
Her high IQ has been recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records and is therefore the woman with the highest IQ on this planet.
Europe has some smart people also and one of them is Mislav Predavec. He is a Croation professor of mathematics at the University of Zagreb and founder of the GenerIQ Society. This is a club for very intelligent people.
He has also his own company. He loves rock music, such as Pink Floyd. He’s an admirer of Leonardo Da Vinci’s work. Last but not least he likes to play computer games. Mafia Wars is one of his favourite games.
7) Rick Rosner (192 IQ)
From Europe back to America. His resume is maybe not what you would expect from someone who has a great mind. He has worked 4 years as a bouncer, but also as a stripper and nude model.
He doesn’t settle with a score of 192. Instead of that he practices to make his IQ test score even better so he could climb some places.
6) Garry Kasparov (IQ 194)
Garry Kasparov is rather known for his chess capabilities. He was born in 1964. Next to playing chess he’s also a writer and political activist.
Most people will know him as the best chess-player ever. He started playing chess at the age of 11. By the time he was 13 he already won the yearly Russian Junior Chess championship. Has he been beaten? Yes, by a super computer that could calculate almost 200 million chess moves per second.
5) Dr. Evangelos Katsioulis (IQ 198)
Evangelos Katsioulis is a Greek. He is a psychiatrist. He has degrees in philosophy, medical research technology and psychological pharmacology.
Next to that he is also a painter and can swim rather well. So he can practice in the nice mediterranean sea around Greece.
4) Kim Ung-yong (IQ 210)
We pass the 200 marker. Kim Ung-Yong comes from South-Korea and was born there in 1963. After only 6 months he could already talk and at the age of 3- when most kids begin to understand 1 language – he could speak Korean, English, Japanese and German. He was also able to solve complex calculations.
At the age of 4 he already followed colleges on higher level. The NASA asked him at the age of 8 to come work for them.
After working a while for the NASA he returned to his mother country where he immersed himself in civil engineering. He has published over 90 papers about hydraulics.
3) Christopher Hirata (IQ 225)
Christopher was born in 1982. At the age of 12 he finished physics and mathematics at university. A year later he won the International Science Olympics.
The NASA also asked him to work for them at the age of 16. He worked on a spaceproject to the planet Mars.
Today however he gives courses in astrophysics at CalTech.
2) Terence Tao (IQ 225-230)
Terence was born in 1975 in Australia. When he was 9 he followed mathematics courses at University level. At the age of 16 he got his masters degree.
When he was 24 he was offered a professorship and currently he has already more than 230 publications on his name. He teaches at the University of California in Los Angeles.
His focus lies in the most difficult subdomains of mathematics.
1) William James Sidis (IQ 250-300)
William James Sidis was born in 1888. His parents had fled Ukraine and tried to build a new life in the US.
The estimate of his IQ is a rough one and lies between 250 and 300. He finished grammar school in only 7 months. At the age of 11 he went to Harvard and at the age of 20 he spoke 40 languages fluently. However he preferred mathematics.
As a student he didn’t have it easy. Other students were mean to him.In 1919 he was arrested during a protest. His parents got him out of prison. The rest of his life he worked as a handyman.
He didn’t make any scientific contributions although Einstein and Da Vinci with 100 IQ points less did. So it isn’t only a factor of how smart you are. Also other factors such as friends, rich family, craftiness and beauty can help you in life.