The Massive List of Genius – People With the Highest IQ

John P.

The other day I sat down to watch The Princess Bride for about the 10,000th time. Man that is a great movie! Anyway, when I was watching the part where Vizzini, the Sicilian, was answering the question as to how smart he is, he said: “Let me put it this way. Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.”

So, I decided to mosey on over to the Interwebs and find a list of people with the highest IQ ever measured, and lo and behold I couldn’t find one! So for the sake of future searchers, I compiled the following information. Enjoy.

Background Info

In order to establish a baseline knowledge, IQ (intelligence quotient) is a score derived from attempting to measure the actual mental horsepower of any given individual. Personally I place little value in IQ tests, but I do acknowledge that they are an indicator of some common potential success factors, so we’ll leave it at that.

The “average” IQ is by definition 100, so if you score below that you are dumber than average, and above it means smarter than average.

Commonly acknowledged IQ Score Ranking System:


IQ Score Traditional Ranking System
140 + (~.25%) Genius or near genius
130 – 139 Gifted
120 – 129 Very Superior Intelligence
110 – 119 Superior Intelligence
90 – 109 Average/Normal
80 – 89 Dullness
70 – 79 Borderline deficiency
50 – 70 Mild mental retardation
35-50 Moderate mental retardation
20 – 35 Severe mental retardation
< 20 Profound mental retardation (1%)
IQ BellcurveThe distribution of IQ scores is as follows:

  • 50% of IQ scores fall between 90 and 110
  • 70% of IQ scores fall between 85 and 115
  • 95% of IQ scores fall between 70 and 130
  • 99.5% of IQ scores fall between 60 and 140
  • A score of 132 equals the top 2%
  • A score of 134 equals the top 1%
  • A score of 68 equals the bottom 2%
  • A score of 66 equals the bottom 1%

I’d like to stop for a second and inject a little philosophy before we go on. I have absolutely no respect whatsoever for intelligence. I only respect people for their actions. So no one should envy or emulate people on the list that follow because some of them are miserable human beings (like this narcissistic guy). Take Bobby Fischer as an example. He’s the biggest A-hole on the list, and I’d like to kick his teeth in for his comments about Jews and America.

The Highest IQs On Record

People Still Alive

From the Past

In 1926, psychologist Dr. Catherine Morris Cox – who had been assisted by Dr. Lewis M. Terman, Dr. Florence L. Goodenaugh, and Dr. Kate Gordon – published a study “of the most eminent men and women” who had lived between 1450 and 1850 to estimate what their IQs might have been. Data from that study as well as other sources around the net were compiled to form the following list. Please drop me a comment if you have additions or corrections (make sure and cite sources).

Also, see Wikipedia’s list of Universal Genius (Polymaths).


Now that you’ve read all about these really smart people, surely you want to know how you compare? Well, set aside a full 40 minutes and go through this test to determine where you are on the evolutionary chain.

Select the image below and the clock starts when the test loads, so be prepared in order to get the full 40 minutes. Trust me, you’re gonna need it! Oh, and if you answer “A” on every question, you get a 72! (a=72, b=65, c=65, d=65, e=72, f=72, g= 65, and h=65 – Only The Man would help you cheat on an IQ test!)

IQ Test
EDIT: I received the following e-mail from Mike, a former school psychologist of 30 years, regarding the validity of this IQ Test

…one of the better and possibly fairly accurate IQ tests (11/8/07) seen on the net. Two caveats: 1. This test evaluates visual spatial reasoning skills, and not verbal which some may say would be a bias toward guys. 2. This test does not assess processing speed and ability to make quick/accurate and perhaps more c creative choices.

For different view of intelligence away from IQ try: Theory of Multiple Intelligences

If it turns out you are a Genius, join a club! Here’s how to hook up with your intellectual peers:

By the way, why is it that most of the high IQ society Web sites suck so bad? And if I may inquire additionally, why is it that none of them have sections on their sites where they are actually teaching people by translating highly complex issues into understandable language?

Now, for the rest of us (I score just above a moderately intelligent canine, but just below a porpoise), you can just join the One Man’s Blog Society for the Incredibly Average. Believe me, we have a lot more fun around here.


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