All of us are familiar with the term ‘IQ’ and have come across it in various phases of life, mostly in schools and colleges. The toppers of our class were called by names like ‘geeks’ and ‘people having high IQ levels’. So what exactly is meant by IQ? It is actually the marks scored by a person in any of the standard tests meant to measure the individual’s intelligence level.
Intelligence Quotient or IQ can be determined on the basis of numerous factors including the social status of parents, morality, IQ of parents, morbidity and more. A lot of different methods are being used to examine a person’s IQ level. These include but not limited to abstract reasoning problems, verbal tests, visual tests and other tests related to general awareness, vocabulary, reading, and arithmetic.
Though not the single measure of one’s intellect, IQ is considered to be the most popular method of testing a person’s intelligence. The general IQ score of the majority of the population falls between 70 to 130. Only 1 out of 200 people score more than 140. That said, all of us would want to know who are the people with the highest IQ recorded. Here is a list of the smartest people across the world whose levels of IQ have made records in the history.
Table of Contents
- Personalities With Highest IQ Recorded
Personalities With Highest IQ Recorded
10. Stephen Hawking (IQ: 160)
It is good to start the list with one of the most regarded theoretical physicists of all time, Stephen Hawking. Professor Hawking is the author of ‘A Brief History of Time’, one of the most popular works regarding the Big Bang Theory. His topics of work were the fundamental laws governing the universe. He possesses twelve honorary degrees. He has received numerous prizes, medals, and awards and is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of The Royal Society.
When Hawking was just 12 years, he was diagnosed with a serious disease called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) which had paralyzed him to a great extent. In this syndrome, the patients die within five years but Hawking is currently alive and moves around. His brain was recorded with an IQ of 160 which left the entire world in surprise. He has contributed greatly in an important area of physics, general relativity. This paralyzed man with one of the highest IQ recorded proved to the world that achievements and dreams have nothing to do with physical conditions. He is an author, theoretical physicist, and cosmologist. He is the Director of Research at the Cambridge Center for Theoretical Cosmology.
9. Sir Andrew Wiles (IQ: 170)
Ranking at the ninth position in our list of people with highest IQ recorded is a British mathematician, Sir Andrew Wiles who is a professor at the Oxford University. One of his recent achievements is proving the Fermat’s Last Theorem which is considered to be the toughest problems in mathematics and something that other people had failed in for more than 350 years. He was awarded the Abel Prize in 2016 for this accomplishment. He has also received numerous other prizes and awards for his works in mathematical research. Wiles has been cited as one of the pioneers of the field and renowned for his contributions to the theory of numbers all through his career starting in the 1980s.
This living legend with an extraordinary IQ level of 170 started working as a professor a the Princeton University in 1981. He was a Guggenheim Fellow at two international institutes in 1985 and 86. Wiles was a Royal Society Research Professor at the Oxford University for four years after which he returned to Princeton. He rejoined the Oxford University again in 2011.
8. Judit Polgar (IQ: 170)
One of the greatest female chess players, Judit Polgar was the one to become the youngest ever Grandmaster at an age of 15 and the record isn’t yet beaten. Polgar is the only lady to have a place in the Top 100 List of FIDE where she stands at number 63. With an IQ level of 170 one of the highest IQ recorded so far, the genius woman succeeded in defeating number one player and other champions from around the world in many tournaments. In 2002, she created history by winning against Garry Kasparov, the world number one, in a match which became a memorable event in her entire career. The chess champion deserves a place on our top 10 list of people with highest IQ.
Apart from chess, Judit Polgar has excelled in many other fields. She has composed a book for children about the game of chess and received the State award of The Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary for her contribution to promoting the game as an educational tool. Polgar is considered to be the most influential woman in chess history, being one of the best players of all time.
7. Galileo Galilei (IQ: 185)
Regarded as the father of the scientific method and father of observational Astronomy, Galileo Galilei gets the seventh place for the highest IQ recorded levels of all time. The Italian physicist, engineer, astronomer, mathematician, and philosopher played a vital role in the scientific revolution that took place in the 17th century. He made major contributions to the field of observational astronomy including the discovery of four satellites of Jupiter, telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus and observation and analysis of sunspots. Galileo also worked in applied sciences and invented the military compass and many other instruments.
Galileo’s excellence in Copernicanism and heliocentrism were not quite recognized during his time. He had to face opposition from other astronomers and was forced to recant. His life after this was spent under house arrest where he wrote ‘Two New Sciences’ summarizing his work on kinematics and material strength as we know today.
6. Garry Kasparov (IQ: 190)
Another chess player on our list is Garry Kasparov who is regarded as the greatest chess player in the history of the game, with number one ranking for more than 200 months. The Russian genius, in 2003, played chess against a computer system capable of calculating 3 million moves per second. The result of the match was a draw and Kasparov made an unmatched place in his fans’ minds with the brilliance. At an early age of 22, Kasparov was the youngest World Chess Champion. With the maximum number of consecutive wins and the highest number of Chess Oscars, Kasparov made a world record.
Apart from chess, Garry Kasparov was involved in Russian political activities and writing. He was honored with the Keeper of the Flame Award in 1991 by the Center for Security Policy for his contribution towards individual rights. He also won the UN Watch’s Human Rights Prize for his work in Russia.
5. Rick Rosner (IQ: 192)
An American television writer and a popular reality television personality, Rick Rosner are known for his high intelligence test scores and his uncommon career. Reports state that this man got some of the highest scores on IQ tests. However, he was seen participating in activities not related to geniuses. He has been claimed of working as a bouncer, nude model, stripper and roller-skating waiter. A number of documentaries have been created about Rosner’s views and activities. He has produced many quiz shows and other programs for television.
Rick Rosner’s IQ was tested using multiple formats and falls under the highest IQ recorded with the scores in the range of 186 to 199. The number mentioned here is a rough average of these scores. In spite of such a high intelligence quotient, Rosner is completely away from academics. He worked as a producer, writer and occasional on-air talent for the Jimmy Kimmel show. Rick also appeared in an advertisement of Domino’s Pizza in 2008.
4. Kim Ung-Yong (IQ: 210)
With the score for highest IQ recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1990, Kim Yung-Yong is believed to have started speaking fluently as just six months of age. He was a guest student of Physics at the Hanyang University when he was three years old and could write and speak English, German, Japanese and Korean languages easily. He could even write poetry in many languages in his early childhood. Later, he moved to the USA where he got a job with NASA and worked for about 10 years before returning to his native place and pursuing a Ph.D. degree in civil engineering.
Currently, Kim Ung-Yong works in the Chungbuk National University as a professor. Kim did not like those people who put too much emphasis on IQ. His life proves that IQ is just another talent like being good at music or sports. Kim did not enjoy working at NASA and wanted to lead a peaceful life that he does now by serving as a professor.
3. Christopher Hirata (IQ: 225)
Yet another genius who worked for NASA, Christopher Hirata started working in Astrophysics at a very young age. He completed his graduate level courses by 12 years. He got his doctorate at 22 from Princeton University. At the early age of 13, Hirata was honored with the International Physics Olympiad to get listed as a child prodigy. He started working for NASA when he turned 16. At the age of 18, Hirata started studying for his Ph.D. in astrophysics.
After receiving his Ph.D. from Princeton, Hirata moved to California where he still lives, teaching the subject of astrophysics at the California Institute of Technology. He was more interested in leading a quiet life, like Kim Ung-Yong, after discovering his talent.
2. Terence Tao (IQ: 230)
The third child prodigy like the other two gifted individuals discussed above was Terence Tao who dedicated his whole life to the field of Mathematics. The born genius could teach arithmetic to a five years old student when he himself was just 2. At the age of 9 years, Terence Tao attended university level mathematics classes. He studied at the Research Science Institute when he was 14. Tao could get his Bachelors and Masters degrees by 16 years of age and had received his Doctorate by 20. He was appointed as a professor at UCLA at the age of 24 and remains the youngest professor of all time at the institution.
Tao has won numerous awards and honors over these years. In 2006, he won the Fields Medal for innovation and excellence in mathematics. He also received Crafoord Prize in mathematics in 2012. These are the two highest distinctions to be given to a mathematician. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Mathematical Society and the Australian Academy of Science. He has published more than 300 research papers and about 17 books by 2016.
1. William James Sidis (IQ: 250)
With the ability to join Harvard University at an early age of 11, William James Sidis made the record of being the youngest person to do so. In addition to this, he is one of the youngest teachers of mathematics. Until his accidental death at the age of 46, William was popularly known for his expertise in mathematics and his excellence in more than forty dialects and languages. His mathematical abilities were exceptional, right from the childhood. He went to grammar school at the age of 6 and graduated in just seven months.
William was threatened by some students in Harvard and therefore, his parents insisted him to join teaching in Texas. However, he left the job soon and started focusing on his political career. William had to face a lot of controversies all through his life not only for his political beliefs but also for his unusual personality. He is regarded as a controversial figure in history despite his extraordinary intelligence.
These were 10 personalities with Highest IQ Recorded ever. The high level of IQ and their contributions in the respective fields are a source of great inspiration.