Intelligence is a tricky thing. Like great beauty, great intelligence can be a blessing or a curse to those who possess it. Sometimes the smartest among us have the most difficult lives, and other times they’re just really awesome people that make the rest of us look really…lame. So lame. While there are many different ways to measure intelligence, and many different kinds of intelligence, this list focuses on IQ scores. Read on to learn about 25 Highest IQ’s Throughout History.
Michigan born Astrophysicist Chris Hirata became the youngest U.S. recipient of the International Physics Olympiad gold medal. (Yes, that’s a thing…a really impressive thing.) He earned a BA from the California Institute of Technology in 2001 and at age 16 started working for NASA on that pesky “Can we colonize Mars” problem everyone’s talking about. In 2005, he got his Ph.D in physics from Harvard (he was 22). As of now, Hirata works at Ohio State University as a physics and astronomy professor. His IQ is reported as 225.
Russian born Garry Kasparov is considered to be the greatest chess player of all time. In 1996 & 1997, he played a chess match against IBM’s supercomputer, “Deep Blue.” Kasparov won the first match, Deep Blue won the second. It was the first time a machine had beat a world champion chess player in a classical game under tournament regulations. Kasparov is also a writer and political activist, with an IQ of 194.
Stephen Hawking is perhaps the most well know theoretical physicist in the history of the world, meaning that he’s one of the only two theoretical physicists most people outside of STEM fields can name. He’s the author of “A Brief History of Time,” which is one of the most highly regarded and well known works ever written on The Big Bang Theory. When he was just 12, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease which most people die of within 5 years. However, Professor Hawking is currently in his 70’s. He moves around and communicates via a specialized wheelchair which includes a voice synthesizer. His IQ is 160.
Walter O’Brien is an Irish businessman and tech mogul with an IQ over 190. Bored at school as a child, his teachers suspected autism. When he was tested, they found no autism, just that he was simply too smart for school. At age 13, he hacked into NASA’s top security servers and stole plans for the Space Shuttle because he could. He’s been known to joke that his business – Scorpion Computer Services – was started as a way to stay out of jail. His life is the inspiration for the CBS television show, Scorpion
Marilyn vos Savant
Missouri born Marilyn vos Savant was placed in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1986 as the person with the highest IQ in the world, her score being 228. She has had an “ask Marilyn” column in Parade magazine since the mid-80’s and is a playwright. Her husband, Robert Jarvik, designed the first successful artificial heart, earning them the name of “The Smartest Couple in New York” from New York Magazine.