Lists and Curiosities

These are some of the most intelligent people who ever lived.

If you think you are smart, think again. This list contains some of the most gifted minds this world has ever seen.


I must admit: when I decided to write this article, the first that came to my mind was to talk about “the highest IQ people in history”. However, I decided to change it for some reasons.

First of all, IQ is more of a modern thing: there was no such thing as this in Isaac Newton’s time, for instance.

Another thing is: what good there is in being so intelligent and not using it to change the world or achieve great things?

We making the research I found many interesting characters alive and in history, regardless of their IQ, they were pretty smart and interesting.

And these people, are the ones that are going to be presented in this article.

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William Siddis (1898-1944)

He was an American kid prodigy with a possibly record-breaking IQ of between 250 and 300.

He claimed to speak 40 languages, had exceptional arithmetic skills, and was admitted to Harvard at the age of 11.

The young Siddis was expected to become the greatest mathematician of the 20th century, according to an MIT professor.

 But as an adult, William failed miserably, working menial jobs, getting into legal trouble, and never finding a way to live up to the expectations.

We start our list with him simply to hold my arguments earlier. Siddis is perhaps THE most intelligent person who ever lived; however, his life was simply miserable.

What good so much IQ has done for his life? Or for our future? Only pain, it seems.

Terence Tao (1975)

With an IQ ranging between 220-230, Tao holds the James and Carol Collins chair and is a professor of mathematics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

 Harmonic analysis, partial differential equations, algebraic, arithmetic, and geometric combinatorics, probability theory, compressed sensing, and analytic number theory are among the areas of study he has explored.

In 2006, he received the Fields Medal, and in 2014, he received the Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics, also, Tao was a MacArthur Fellow in 2006.

 Over 300 research publications with Terence Tao as an author or co-author are available.

He has been called the “Mozart of mathematics” and is considered one of the greatest mathematicians working today.

Garry Kasparov (1963)

With an IQ of 190, and with me being a chess fan, this man would be on this list.

Russian chess grandmaster and former world champion Kasparov is also a writer, political activist, and pundit.

Before Magnus Carlsen beat him in 2013, his top rating of 2851 from 1999 held the record for the highest rating ever.

Kasparov held the top spot in the world for a record 255 months during his career, from 1984 until his retirement in 2005, which is the longest streak in history.

In addition, Kasparov has a record for winning the most straight professional tournaments (15) and Chess Oscars (11).

Hypatia of Alexandria (350/70 – 410)

This woman’s history is amazing, with an IQ ranging from 170-190.

Hypatia was a Neoplatonist philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer who resided in Alexandria, Egypt, which was formerly a part of the Eastern Roman Empire.

 One very interesting fact is that she is the first female mathematician whose life is reasonably well documented, although being preceded by Pandrosion, another Alexandrine female mathematician.

Hypatia gave advice to Orestes, the Roman prefect of Alexandria, who was engaged in a political conflict with Cyril, the bishop of Alexandria, toward the end of her life.

Because of this, Hypatia was killed by a group of Christians led by a lector named Peter in March 415 AD after rumors that she had stopped Orestes from reconciling with Cyril spread.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Of course, the man whose everyone compares the IQ with (By the way, ranging from 160-190 IQ)

One of the greatest and most influential physicists of all time, according to many. The theory of relativity is what Einstein is most famous for, although he also made significant contributions to the theory of quantum mechanics.

Together, relativity and quantum mechanics form the foundation of contemporary physics. The relativity theory-derived mass-energy equivalence formula he developed, E = mc2, has been labeled “the most famous equation in the world.”  His writing is also renowned for its impact on scientific thought.

His discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect, a significant contribution to theoretical physics, earned him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921, a crucial breakthrough in the growth of quantum theory.

His creativity and intellectual prowess led to “Einstein” coming to represent genius.

Einstein had internal bleeding on April 17, 1955, as a result of the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm that Rudolph Nissen had surgically repaired in 1948.

He went to the hospital with a draft of a speech he was going to give on television to mark the seventh anniversary of the state of Israel, but he did not survive to finish it.

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