When discussing someone’s intelligence, it’s common for people to mention IQ.
An IQ is a measurement of one’s intelligence in terms of problem-solving and critical thinking.
The higher one’s IQ is, the greater the perception that one is intelligent and smart.
There are many people in history with high IQs, but you may wonder who had the highest recorded IQ in history.
What Is The Highest IQ Ever Recorded?
The highest IQ ever tested and recorded was 263 by Ainan Celeste Cawley.
Even when he was a child, Ainan was a genius.
He’s in his 20s now, but back when he was a child, he had already taken third-year chemistry courses at the age of eight.
When he was nine, he memorized the first 518 decimal points of the number pi.
He also got into music composition and filmmaking when he was 12.
He made a movie called Reflection and also composed the music for it.
Although Ainan Celeste Cawley is the person with the highest recorded IQ, there are several others who have a projected IQ that’s even higher.
Which People Have The Highest IQs?
The average IQ score is around 100.
Those who score 140 tend to have the status of genius.
Those who score even higher are either greater geniuses or savants.
Here are some of the people with top IQ scores that have either received a test or had a projection of them.
1. Jacob Barnett
Jacob Barnett’s IQ is 170, but he wasn’t always considered a genius.
When he was two years old, he was diagnosed with severe autism.
It was unlikely that he’d even be able to learn how to tie his shoes.
Barnett surpassed that and far more.
He finished grades six through 12 in a single year.
At 10, he started college.
When he reached the age of 13, he published a paper in physics and graduated in the field.
Now that he’s in his 20s, Barnett is studying for his doctorate.
2. Judit Polgár
Another individual with a high IQ is Judit Polgár.
She’s a famous Hungarian chess master with an IQ of 170.
At age 15, she became the first International Grandmaster of Chess.
Today, she’s considered one of the best chess players of all time, female or otherwise.
3. Rick Rosner
Rosner had an interest in knowing his IQ, too.
He’s taken more than 30 IQ tests to understand the range of his IQ.
Since every test frames its questions a little differently and bases its results on slightly different things, it makes sense that he sees some different numbers.
As such, his IQ is between 192 and 198.
For a long time, Rosner had the reputation of being the second smartest man in the world.
Time has introduced more child prodigies, however.
That said, Rosner has lived an interesting life.
Although he works as a TV writer now, he used to work as a bouncer, nude model, and even a stripper.
He also once played on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? but ultimately lost.
He believed that he had received a faulty question at the $16,000 level and sued the program accordingly.
Eventually, he lost the suit.
Rosner now works in television as a writer.
4. Evangelos Katsioulis
Another man who has an IQ of 198 is Evangelos Katsioulis.
For many years, it was Katsioulis who had the reputation for having the highest recorded IQ in the world.
He has acquired several degrees throughout his lifetime.
He has an MD, MSc, MA, and a Ph.D. to his name.
Besides those, he also has a degree in medical research technology and philosophy.
His passion became psychiatry.
5. Sho Yano
Another young genius is Sho Yano.
From America, Sho has a projected IQ of 200.
That makes him one of the smartest men in the world.
He quickly displayed his intelligence, too, by attending college at the age of nine.
By the time he had reached 21, he had received an MD and a Ph.D.
As a child, he had an interest in composing music.
As early as four, he’d compose music and play it like an expert.
He has since switched gears and started studying and researching child neurology.
6. Nathan Leopold
Nathan Leopold proves that having a high IQ doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re smart.
He had a tested IQ of 200.
He was able to speak nine languages by the time he was 18.
However, when he turned 19, he and a partner murdered someone in 1924.
He had been trying to commit the perfect crime, one that no one could ever solve.
Unfortunately for him, the police did solve the case, and he went to jail.
He served 33 years in prison before they released him on parole.
He’d spend the rest of his years free, but he eventually died in 1971.
7. Marilyn Vos Savant
Savant took an IQ test when she was 10 years old.
The test was for adults, but they decided to give it to her anyway.
The results stated that she had an IQ of 228.
The test in question was the Stanford-Binet test.
At the time, even the Guinness Book of World Records listed her as the smartest woman in the world.
However, the company eventually got rid of that category due to the inexact measurements with IQ testing.
She now works for Parade magazine where she answers mathematical problems or philosophical questions in her column.
You can read her work in the “Ask Marilyn” section of Parade which got its start in 1986.
8. Johann Goethe
Some figures in history were unable to take an IQ test since they didn’t exist quite yet.
However, that hasn’t stopped some testers from projecting their IQs.
One such example is Johann Goethe.
Libb Thims, an electrochemical engineer, had an interest in testing the IQs of some famous individuals in history.
He wanted to find the person with the highest IQ of all time.
He based his test on examining the accomplishments that the individual had made every 10 years of their life.
When he examined Johann Goethe, he estimated that he had an IQ within the range of 210 and 225.
When Thims conducted his test, that was the highest IQ ever recorded.
As such, he deemed Goethe as the man with the highest IQ of all time.
Goethe was a philosopher, but he also had an interest in science and poetry.
He found as much success in both of these other careers as in philosophy.
9. Christopher Langan
Many people consider Langan the smartest man in the world.
Langan has a projected IQ between 174 and 210.
Although he considers himself a cowboy and works as a horse rancher, he also has some incredible accomplishments under his belt.
He’s an independent researcher and reality theorist which led him to the creation of the Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe.
He claims it’s his own version of the Theory of Everything.
It’s a cross between the Participatory Universe written by John Archibald Wheeler and the Imaginary Time theory written by Stephen Hawking.
10. Marnen Laibow-Koser
Although he hasn’t received an actual test, Marnen has a projected IQ of 268.
That would make him one of the smartest people in the world.
The projection occurred when he was a child.
Since then, Marnen has made a name for himself in composing and playing music.
He started to compose music when he was three years old.
11. Adragon De Mello
Adragon also didn’t receive a test for his IQ, but he was projected to have an astounding IQ of 400.
He graduated from college at the age of 11 where he received a degree in computational mechanics.
At that time, he was the youngest student to have ever graduated from the University of California in Santa Cruz.
Adragon has kept out of the limelight, however, as he chose to spend his time caring for his father who was battling bladder cancer.
12. Michael Kearney
Depending on the test that Kearney takes, his IQ ranges from 200 to 325.
He was also the student who broke Adragon’s record of being the youngest student to graduate from college.
Michael graduated from the University of South Alabama in 1994.
He was 10 years old at the time.
He graduated with a degree in anthropology.
He continued to attend school and added a few more degrees to his name.
By the age of 22, he had degrees in geology, computer science, and chemistry.
13. Leonardo Da Vinci
No IQ list is ever complete without considering Leonardo Da Vinci.
Since he lived before IQ tests, experts had to project his IQ score instead.
The experts looked at his accomplishments and considered the advancements he had made during his lifetime.
The fact that some of his inventions were well ahead of his time, such as his ideas for a submarine, a telescope, and a flying machine, showed that he was certainly a genius.
There’s also the fact that Leonardo took part in several different fields and excelled in all of them.
Besides being a famous painter, he was an inventor, composer, and architect.
Experts have projected Leonardo’s IQ to be between 180 and 220.
14. Isaac Newton
Another important historical figure is Isaac Newton.
Without him, society wouldn’t understand such concepts as gravity and force which make the basis of physics.
Much like Da Vinci, however, Newton lived before IQ tests existed.
Experts examined his discoveries and considered the fact that he was also an expert in mathematics and astronomy.
They gave him an IQ range of 190 to 200.
15. Michael Grost
While some geniuses were graduating college at the age of 10, Grost was just starting his university career.
He started studying at Michigan State University at the age of 10.
As a student, he would go on to achieve an undergraduate and Master’s degree there.
Eventually, he’d go to the University of Michigan where he’d get his Ph.D. in mathematics.
Grost has a reported IQ of 200.
With his particular intelligence, he’s used it to write mystery novels and detective stories.
16. Nicolaus Copernicus
Copernicus is best known for his theory that it was the sun that was the center of the universe and not earth.
At the time, his findings were so scandalous and sacrilegious that the Catholic Church banned his book.
It would remain unpublished for two centuries.
Copernicus was a master astronomer and mathematician.
Because he was able to put together the workings of the universe despite not having any of today’s technology is astounding.
Most tests agree that he likely had an IQ of 160, but some also say his IQ was as high as 200.
17. Kim Ung-Yong
Kim Ung-Young had an incredible ability to solve math problems at a young age.
He was so smart that NASA ended up hiring him at the age of four.
He worked there for 10 years before leaving.
He cited that he found the work lonely.
Experts have determined that his IQ was likely between 200 and 210.
18. Nikola Tesla
Everyone knows of Tesla’s incredible rivalry with Thomas Edison.
It’s likely because of that rivalry that his works didn’t get as much attention as they should have while he was alive.
What’s unquestioned is the fact that Tesla was a genius.
He dreamed up and created some of the technologies that we still use today.
He invented the first alternating current (AC) motor which helped him also develop the AC generation and transmission technology.
This was counter to Edison’s direct current (DC).
Unfortunately, Tesla’s mental health proved his undoing.
He died alone in his New York apartment.
Experts have reported on Tesla’s IQ and believe that he had a range from 160 to 310.
19. Marie Curie
Another famous woman genius is Marie Curie.
Curie is best known for her work with radiation.
Her discoveries led to the eventual development of X-Rays.
She also served in World War I.
While she wasn’t a soldier, she was the head of the radiological service for the Red Cross.
Curie would go on to win two Nobel prizes for her discoveries.
She broke two records in doing so.
The first was by being the first woman to win a Nobel prize.
The second was to be the first to win two Nobel prizes.
Experts project that her IQ was likely between 180 and 200.
If you’re curious about the IQs of ancient people in history, then you need to consider Hypatia.
Hypatia was a Greek philosopher who lived in the 4th century.
She was an astronomer and mathematician as well.
She lived in both Egypt and the Eastern Roman Empire.
One of her biggest claims to fame was the invention of the astrolabe, which became crucial for ship navigation.
She also invented instruments that enabled the measuring of density for certain liquids.
Because of her inventions, experts project that she had an IQ of 170 to 210.
What Is An IQ Test?
An IQ test is a measurement of one’s cognitive abilities.
It can give an exact score or a range.
It takes the answers from the test-taker and compares them to the rest of the scores taken by those within the individual’s age range.
It’s a standardized test that allows the researchers or psychiatrists to compare the results directly to another test.
The problem with IQ tests is that there are several versions of them.
As such, the scoring methods can also be different.
There are several different tests, but some of the more popular and widely used ones include:
- Cognitive Assessment System
- Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children
- Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale
- Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test
- Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
- Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children
- Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities
IQ tests have several purposes.
One of their primary uses is to determine the intelligence of a child for educational placement.
In order to give a child the challenge that they need in school, some schools will have everyone take an IQ test.
If someone scores high, then the school will put them in the appropriate grade or place them in some special class designed to challenge their mind further.
Another popular use of IQ tests is in diagnosing intellectual disabilities.
This can also help children because it tells educators if they need to place children in other classes designed to help them learn despite having a disability.
In doing so, the child receives the care they need to help them grow and develop normally.
IQ tests measure intelligence and are useful for different situations.
While the highest tested and recorded IQ is Ainan Cawley with a score of 263, there are several others who have high IQ scores.
Like all standardized tests, however, there is room for error, and the results don’t always reflect the truth of someone’s intelligence or capabilities.