Top 10 People With Highest IQ In History (2024)

**This post was originally published on by Domagoj Pernar

In the vast expanse of human intelligence and geniousnes, the measure of IQ (Intelligence Quotient) has served as a yardstick for assessing cognitive abilities and intellectual potential. While it’s essential to remember that IQ scores are just one side of measuring intelligence, they do provide insight into the extraordinary capabilities of certain individuals.

Throughout history, certain remarkable minds have stood out for their exceptionally high IQ scores.

This article takes you on a journey through the lives and achievements of the top 10 people with the highest recorded IQ in history, providing a deeper look into their unique brilliance.


1. William James Sidis – IQ Score: Estimated 250-300

Now, let’s shine the spotlight on William James Sidis, an American child prodigy born in 1898. His estimated IQ score ranges from an astonishing 250 to 300. Sidis’s story is a blend of exceptional brilliance and complex circ*mstances. At a young age, he attracted media attention for his incredible mental accomplishments, including mastering multiple languages and complex mathematical concepts. Sidis enrolled at Harvard University at just 11 years old, making him one of the youngest to attend the prestigious institution.

Despite his remarkable abilities, Sidis’s life took turns that led him away from the public eye. He pursued various interests, including writing and political activism. While he may not have achieved the fame of some other individuals on this list, his extraordinary IQ remains a testament to the potential of human intelligence.

2. Terence Tao – IQ Score: 230-240

At the highpoint of our list also sits Terence Tao, a prodigy hailing from Australia. With an estimated IQ score ranging between 230 and 240, Tao is a mathematical genius whose talents became evident from an early age. Completing his bachelor’s and master’s degrees by the age of 16, Tao embarked on a journey that led to him obtaining his Ph.D. by 24. His academic expertise earned him the distinction of becoming the youngest full professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. Tao’s contributions to fields like number theory, harmonic analysis, and partial differential equations have garnered him prestigious awards, including the sought-after Fields Medal.

Recommendation: If you're interested in how Terence Tao thinks and solves mathematical problems we highly recommend his book, "Solving Mathematical Problems: A Personal Perspective."

3. Christopher Hirata – IQ Score: 225

Christopher Hirata, an American astrophysicist and cosmologist, secures one of the highest spots on our list with a notable IQ score of 225. Hirata’s brilliance illuminated the scientific community from a young age, as he emerged as the youngest American to settle a gold medal at the International Physics Olympiad at the ultra-young age of 13. Throughout his career, his work in areas such as dark energy, gravitational lensing, and cosmic microwave background radiation has significantly enriched our comprehension of the cosmos.

4. Kim Ung-Yong – IQ Score: 210

Hailing from South Korea, Kim Ung-Yong takes the very high spot with an IQ score that is rumored to be around 210. Kim’s prodigious intellect gained him international recognition when NASA extended an invitation to him at the age of 8. Remarkably, he obtained a Ph.D. in physics from Colorado State University by the age of 15. While Kim transitioned from academia to business pursuits, his exceptional intellectual gifts continue to captivate minds around the world.

5. Evangelos Katsioulis – IQ Score: 198

Greek psychiatrist Evangelos Katsioulis enters the scene with an IQ score of 198, firmly establishing his position among the brightest minds on the planet. Beyond his contributions to psychiatry, Katsioulis has delved into an array of scientific domains, encompassing philosophy, mathematics, and psychometrics. Notably, he founded the World Intelligence Network, an organization that fosters dialogue and research centered on intelligence and its multifaceted dimensions.

6. Rick Rosner – IQ Score: 192

Rick Rosner, an American television writer and media personality, garners attention with his reported IQ score of 192. Rosner’s life journey is as unconventional as it is intriguing — his career trajectory ranges from bouncer to stripper, and he even pursued a high school diploma in his forties. His appearances on television shows and podcasts have provided platforms for him to showcase his quick wittiness and intellectual acumen.

7. Garry Kasparov – IQ Score: 190

Garry Kasparov, celebrated as one of history’s greatest chess players, has an IQ score of approximately 190. His contributions to the world of chess are immeasurable, with his legendary battles against computer opponents standing out as milestones. Beyond the realm of chess, Kasparov has emerged as a prominent political activist and commentator, advocating ardently for democratic values and human rights.

Note: Garry Kasparov has written a book titled "Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins." In this book, Kasparov reflects on his historic chess match against IBM's Deep Blue in 1997 and explores the implications of artificial intelligence on human thought and creativity.

8. Marilyn vos Savant – IQ Score: 190

American author and lecturer Marilyn vos Savant boasts an IQ score of 190, securing a position in the annals of intellectual achievement. Holding the Guinness World Record for the highest recorded IQ, vos Savant has channeled her cognitive ability into columns and books that explore logic, mathematics, and philosophy. Additionally, she emphasizes the critical importance of nurturing robust critical thinking skills within education.

9. Mislav Predavec – IQ Score: 190

Croatian mathematics professor Mislav Predavec shines with an estimated IQ score of 190. As the founder of the GenerIQ Society, an organization that connects individuals with high IQ scores, Predavec fosters a vibrant community for intellectual discourse and collaboration. His contributions to mathematics education further underscore his commitment to fostering the next generation of brilliant minds.

10. Christopher Michael Langan – IQ Score: 190

Christopher Michael Langan, an American autodidact without formal higher education, boasts an IQ score of 190, marking him as a remarkable intellectual force. Langan’s journey from a working-class background to the frontiers of cognition is a testament to his innate abilities. His “Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe” and his insights into philosophy, cognition, and artificial intelligence continue to intrigue and inspire.

So, with our list of people with highest IQ let’s talk about how IQ is rather challenging sometimes for those people.

The Price of Brilliance? Are they Happy?

Top 10 People With Highest IQ In History (1)

While the world often celebrates the brilliance of individuals with exceptionally high IQs, it’s crucial to acknowledge that intellectual expertise doesn’t guarantee happiness or fulfillment.

The lives of many such individuals have been marked by challenges, struggles, and even isolation. As we explore the top 10 people with the highest IQs ever recorded, it’s important to shine a light on the often-hidden reality that accompanies genius.

The Loneliness of the Exceptional Mind

In the pursuit of intellectual excellence, some geniuses find themselves isolated from other people. Their unique perspectives, interests, and thought processes can make it challenging to connect with people on a deeper level. As a result, even though their minds are capable of extraordinary feats, they may grapple with feelings of loneliness and a lack of social belonging.

Struggles with Expectations

High IQ individuals are frequently burdened with exceedingly high expectations from both themselves and society. The weight of these expectations can lead to stress, anxiety, and even imposter syndrome – a phenomenon where accomplished individuals doubt their own abilities and fear being exposed as frauds. The pressure to continually excel can take a toll on their mental well-being.

Mismatch between Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence

While intelligence is often associated with cognitive abilities, emotional intelligence – the capacity to understand and manage emotions – is equally important for overall well-being. Some individuals with exceptionally high IQs may struggle with emotional intelligence, finding it challenging to navigate interpersonal relationships and effectively communicate their thoughts and feelings.

The Curse of Overthinking

Overthinking, a common trait among highly intelligent individuals, can lead to a constant stream of internal dialogue and analysis. This overactive mind can result in chronic stress, sleep disturbances, and difficulty making decisions – all of which contribute to a less than ideal quality of life.

Coping with Unattainable Standards

The pursuit of perfection can be an unrelenting force in the lives of those with high IQs. Perfectionism, while driving them to achieve remarkable feats, can also lead to self-criticism and dissatisfaction. The inability to meet their own unattainable standards can leave them feeling perpetually unfulfilled.

The Paradox of Happiness

Despite their exceptional intellect, some individuals with high IQs find it difficult to attain happiness. The complex relationship between intelligence and happiness underscores the truth that cognitive abilities alone don’t ensure a fulfilling life. Factors such as social connection, purpose, and well-rounded personal development play equally vital roles.

In light of these considerations, it’s evident that while intelligence is a gift, it comes with its own set of challenges. The lives of those with the highest IQs are a testament to the intricate interplay between intellectual brilliance and emotional well-being. It’s essential that we, as a society, recognize and support the holistic development of these exceptional minds, ensuring they have the tools to navigate the unique struggles they may face.

In the end, the pursuit of happiness and fulfillment transcends IQ scores. It’s a universal journey that each individual must undertake, regardless of their cognitive abilities. By acknowledging the challenges faced by highly intelligent individuals, we can foster a more compassionate and inclusive world that values both intellect and emotional well-being.

Top 10 People With Highest IQ In History (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kelle Weber

Last Updated:

Views: 5665

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (53 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kelle Weber

Birthday: 2000-08-05

Address: 6796 Juan Square, Markfort, MN 58988

Phone: +8215934114615

Job: Hospitality Director

Hobby: tabletop games, Foreign language learning, Leather crafting, Horseback riding, Swimming, Knapping, Handball

Introduction: My name is Kelle Weber, I am a magnificent, enchanting, fair, joyous, light, determined, joyous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.