Greatest Geniuses of All Time

The average IQ is 100, and anyone who has an IQ above 140 is considered to be a genius. Albert Einstein likely never took an IQ test but was thought to have a 160 IQ.

Here are some of the smartest people of all time:

Johann Goethe

Einstein considered him to be “the last man in the world to know everything,” Goethe was a German polymath who founded the science of human chemistry and developed one of the earliest known theories of evolution. His estimated IQ scores range from 210 to 225 by different measures. He’s considered one of the greatest figures in Western literature: his 1808 poetic drama, “Faust,” is still read and studied all over the world even to this day.

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist and philosopher of science who’s estimated IQ scores range from 205 to 225 by different measures. He is widely known for his mass energy equivalence formula E = mc2 which has been called the world’s most famous equation. Einstein articulated the principle of relativity and aimed to refute quantum theory until he died in 1955 at the age of 76.

Leonardo da Vinci

A painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer,we could even say that he was probably the most diversely talented person to have ever lived. His estimated IQ scores range from 180 to 220 by different measures. He’s one of the most celebrated painters in history, appreciated for his technological innovations such as flying machines, an armored vehicle, concentrated solar power, and adding machines. Da Vinci was a chronic procrastinator, though few of his designs were ever realized during his lifetime.

Isaac Newton

Most famous for his law of gravitation, English physicist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton was the key to scientific revolution of the 17th century. His estimated IQ scores range from 190 to 200 by different measures. He wrote “Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica,” which is widely believed to be the most influential book on physics and possibly all of science.

James Maxwell

James Maxwell was a Scottish mathematical physicist who was recognized for formulating the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation. His estimated IQ scores range from 190 to 205 by different measures. Maxwell is credited with laying the foundations for quantum theory and was appreciated by many, one of them being Einstein. When Einstein was asked if he had stood on the shoulders of Newton, he replied: “No, I stand on Maxwell’s shoulders.”

Rudolf Clausius

Rudolf Clausius was a German physicist and mathematician best known for formulating the second law of thermodynamics. His estimated IQ scores range from 190 to 205 by different measures. He was also one of the first scientists to suggest that molecules are made up of continually interchanging atoms, which later provided the foundation for the theory of electrolytic dissociation.

Nicolaus Copernicus

Copernicus was a Polish mathematician and astronomer whose discovery of the heliocentric model of the universe in which the sun and not the earth is the center of our solar system revolutionized the study of the cosmos. His estimated IQ scores range from 160 to 200 by different measures.

William Sidis

William Sidis (the inspiration for the film “Good Will Hunting”) was an American child prodigy whose IQ scores range from 200 to 300 by different measures. By the age of 2, Sidis was reading The New York Times and typing out letters on a typewriter, not just in English but also in French. He was accepted to Harvard at the age of 9, but the university wouldn’t let him attend due to his “emotional immaturity.” Until Harvard finally accepted him at age 11, he attended Tufts.

Thomas Young

Thomas Young was an English physician and physicist whose contributions to the fields of vision, light, physiology, and language led to many important discoveries in optics and human anatomy. His estimated IQ scores range from 185 to 200 by different measures. He was also an Egyptologist who helped decipher the Rosetta Stone. One of his most important discoveries was that the lens of the human eye changes shape to focus on objects at different distances, which ultimately led him to determine the cause of astigmatism.