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Top 10 Geniuses

First off, you may be surprised to find that Albert Einstein is not included on this list. The reason is that I have used a table of IQ estimates for historical geniuses to determine the members and order of this list, and Einstein’s IQ (around 160) did not make the grade. Despite that, he is still the first person to pop in to most people’s minds when thinking of a genius. Having said that, here is a list of the ten greatest geniuses in history.

10. Madame De Stael IQ: 180Wikipedia


In full – Anne-Louise-Germaine Necker, Baronne (baroness) de Staël-Holstein, byname Madame de Staël. Madame de Stael was a French-Swiss woman of letters, political propagandist, and conversationalist, who epitomized the European culture of her time, bridging the history of ideas from Neoclassicism to Romanticism. She also gained fame by maintaining a salon for leading intellectuals. Her writings include novels, plays, moral and political essays, literary criticism, history, autobiographical memoirs, and even a number of poems. Her most important literary contribution was as a theorist of Romanticism. Madame de Stael is on an equal level with René Descartes but I chose to include her rather than him in order to put at least one woman on this list.

9. Galileo Galilei IQ: 185Wikipedia


Galileo was Italian natural philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician who made fundamental contributions to the sciences of motion, astronomy, and strength of materials and to the development of the scientific method. His formulation of (circular) inertia, the law of falling bodies, and parabolic trajectories marked the beginning of a fundamental change in the study of motion. His insistence that the book of nature was written in the language of mathematics changed natural philosophy from a verbal, qualitative account to a mathematical one in which experimentation became a recognized method for discovering the facts of nature. Finally, his discoveries with the telescope revolutionized astronomy and paved the way for the acceptance of the Copernican heliocentric system, but his advocacy of that system in support of his view that the Bible contained errors, eventually resulted in an Inquisition process against him.

8. Bobby Fischer IQ: 187Wikipedia

Fischer Bobby

Bobby is the byname of Robert James Fischer, an American chess master who became the youngest grandmaster in history when he received the title in 1958. His youthful intemperance and brilliant playing drew the attention of the American public to the game of chess, particularly when he won the world championship in 1972. Fischer learned the moves of chess at age 6 and at 16 dropped out of high school to devote himself fully to the game. In 1958 he won the first of many American championships. In world championship candidate matches during 1970–71, Fischer won 20 consecutive games before losing once and drawing three times to former world champion Tigran Petrosyan of the Soviet Union in a final match won by Fischer. In 1972 Fischer became the first native-born American to hold the title of world champion when he defeated Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union in a highly publicized match held in Reykjavík, Iceland. In doing so, Fischer won the $156,000 victor’s share of the $250,000 purse.

7. Ludwig Wittgenstein IQ: 190Wikipedia


in full – Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein was an Austrian-born English philosopher, regarded by many as the greatest philosopher of the 20th century. Wittgenstein’s two major works, Logisch-philosophische Abhandlung (1921; Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 1922) and Philosophische Untersuchungen (published posthumously in 1953; Philosophical Investigations), have inspired a vast secondary literature and have done much to shape subsequent developments in philosophy, especially within the analytic tradition. His charismatic personality has, in addition, exerted a powerful fascination upon artists, playwrights, poets, novelists, musicians, and even filmmakers, so that his fame has spread far beyond the confines of academic life.

6. Blaise Pascal IQ: 195Wikipedia

Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician, physicist, religious philosopher, and master of prose. He laid the foundation for the modern theory of probabilities, formulated what came to be known as Pascal’s law of pressure, and propagated a religious doctrine that taught the experience of God through the heart rather than through reason. The establishment of his principle of intuitionism had an impact on such later philosophers as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Henri Bergson and also on the Existentialists.

Read all about his inventiveness in Works of Blaise Pascal at!

5. John Stuart Mill IQ: 200Wikipedia


John Stuart Mill was an English philosopher, economist, and exponent of Utilitarianism. He was prominent as a publicist in the reforming age of the 19th century, and remains of lasting interest as a logician and an ethical theorist. Mill was a man of extreme simplicity in his mode of life. The influence that his works exercised upon contemporary English thought can scarcely be overestimated, nor can there be any doubt about the value of the liberal and inquiring spirit with which he handled the great questions of his time. Beyond that, however, there has been considerable difference of opinion about the enduring merits of his philosophy.

4. Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz IQ: 205Wikipedia

300Px-Gottfried Wilhelm Von Leibniz-1

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (also Leibnitz or von Leibniz (July 1 (June 21 Old Style) 1646 – November 14, 1716) was a German philosopher of Sorbian origin who wrote primarily in Latin and French. Educated in law and philosophy, and serving as factotum to two major German noble houses (one becoming the British royal family while he served it), Leibniz played a major role in the European politics and diplomacy of his day. He occupies an equally large place in both the history of philosophy and the history of mathematics. He discovered calculus independently of Newton, and his notation is the one in general use since. He also discovered the binary system, foundation of virtually all modern computer architectures. In philosophy, he is most remembered for optimism, i.e., his conclusion that our universe is, in a restricted sense, the best possible one God could have made.

3. Emanuel Swedenborg IQ: 205Wikipedia

180Px-Emanuel Swedenborg Full Portrait

Emanuel Swedenborg was a Swedish scientist, Christian mystic, philosopher, and theologian who wrote voluminously in interpreting the Scriptures as the immediate word of God. Soon after his death, devoted followers created Swedenborgian societies dedicated to the study of his thought. These societies formed the nucleus of the Church of the New Jerusalem, or New Church, also called the Swedenborgians.

2. Leonardo Da Vinci IQ: 205Wikipedia


Leonardo Da Vinci, Italian painter, draftsman, sculptor, architect, and engineer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. His Last Supper (1495–98) and Mona Lisa (c. 1503–06) are among the most widely popular and influential paintings of the Renaissance. His notebooks reveal a spirit of scientific inquiry and a mechanical inventiveness that were centuries ahead of their time. The unique fame that Leonardo enjoyed in his lifetime and that, filtered by historical criticism, has remained undimmed to the present day rests largely on his unlimited desire for knowledge, which guided all his thinking and behaviour.

1. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe IQ: 210Wikipedia


Goethe, German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, critic, and amateur artist, is considered the greatest German literary figure of the modern era. Goethe is the only German literary figure whose range and international standing equal those of Germany’s supreme philosophers (who have often drawn on his works and ideas) and composers (who have often set his works to music). In the literary culture of the German-speaking countries, he has had so dominant a position that, since the end of the 18th century, his writings have been described as “classical.” In a European perspective he appears as the central and unsurpassed representative of the Romantic movement, broadly understood.

Sources: Genius IQ Estimates, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Wikipedia

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  • JT

    Great list, although what about Marilyn Vos Savant? She is regarded as the person with highest current IQ (over 185) and is a woman of all things!

    Also, interesting fact about Wittgenstein, he was in the same elementary school class as Adolf Hitler! Here is a school photo of them:

    It's weird how a small, elementary school in the back end of Austria could spawn two such influential people. I wonder if they advertise the latter one…

    • Jane Doe

      though Wittgenstein and Hitler were born just six days apart, Hitler had been held back a year, while Wittgenstein was moved forward by one, so they ended up two classes apart at the Realschule in Linz

    • Anonymous

      Is that where the saying “savant” comes from?

  • Ocir

    I can't believe that Sir Issac Newton was not included…

    Nor were any of the great composers, Garry Kasparov, or modern mathematicians.

    and the list is very Eurocentric

    • Will

      Sir Isaac Newton should definitely be top 3.

  • good list

  • inanytime: thanks – it was very interesting learning about some of these people.

  • Edley

    where's stephen hawkins?!!!!!!!!

    • the black angel

      stephen hawking? why him? I gess i understand, but probly not one of the top 10 yo.

      the black angel–

      • Steve R

        I can understand leaving hawking out. but Tesla should be number 1 without question.

  • JT

    Interesting fact: Wittgenstein and Adolf Hitler were in the same class at elementary school, they’re even together in a school photo!

    It’s weird that two such influential people went to the same small school in a small town in Austria. I wonder if they advertise the latter student…

  • Cyn

    btw…checking out the source helps to put this into context. LOL..but then it usually does. (i’m so glad you always note sources too)

    great list!

  • Sam

    come ON… please!! where’s Isaac Newton??!!

  • JT: That is amazing! I had no idea they went to school together – very eerie.

    Sam: I didn’t determine the names on the list – I just put the information and pics together. Check out the source article.

  • Kyle Andersen

    Look in their eyes… “Knowledge is pain” is an expression I’ve heard many times. I find it interesting how sad they all look.

  • JT

    Hmmm, I dont know why I posted twice. My message didnt appear when I posted the first time.

  • TimeTraveller

    all European? No oriental geniuses, no african, semitic geniuses.

    well at least you got a woman on the list

  • Kyle: interesting observation – I hadn’t noticed until you pointed that out.

    JT: Sometimes if you get an error, the comment still posts.

    TimeTraveller: I just went on the original source :)

  • Cat Skyfire

    In jfrater’s defense, it’s also a challenge to define ‘genius’ and have the sources to back it up. Composers are often a genius when it comes to music, but often nothing else. (Mozart’s own life was a shambles in so many ways.) And documentation for non-Europeans is very limited. Can TimeTraveller offer up some Asian, African, or semetic geniuses for us to examine?

    And while Marilyn Vos Savant may have a high IQ, she’s not known for much else. No great intellectual salons, no major challenges to the world of thought.

    another woman might have been Marie Curie.

  • Volkan

    Swedenborg??? Come on! He was influential in his time, but today? What did he do? What did he invent? He shouldn’t be in this list.

    • Jane Doe

      this isn’t to do with influential people, this is to do with genius. your point is…pointless…

  • Zoot

    IQ tests are culturally biased, so of course the list will be eurocentric.

    • Jane Doe

      how so? (this sounds mean, but i truly want to know!)

  • JT

    To be perfectly honest, Europe has always been the ground for progressive thinking and cultural advancement. No other continent comes close to what Europe achieved between the Renaissance and now.

    And Fischer is Jewish-American if that helps.

  • hideki yukawa

    how did you get iq scores for these people? the iq test hadn’t even been developed at that time i thought.

    like someone said, marilyn vos savant has the highest measured iq of any living person, why isn’t she here?

    perhaps iq tests are gibberish and this list is unmeaningful.

  • Jack

    hideki, if you read the opening paragraph you would see this:

    “I have used a table of IQ estimates for historical geniuses”

    • jjjjjj

      so an estimate was made of an intelligence estimate. might as well give them random random iqs.

  • ben


  • Cyn

    tell ya what…this is one place it pays to read the fine print. /snarky remark

  • Henry

    I think you should change this list name to “top 10 people with the highest IQ”. You can have a really high IQ and be really stupid.

  • Henry: that is true – you can – but none of these people were. They had the highest IQs and were also great contributors to humanity.

  • Pingback: mycall et al()

  • Elmer

    well you left Ibn Sina and his semitic precursors: when europe was killing itself in a spiral of feudal tribalism…

  • Mathilda

    The reason that this list consists mainly of European men is that most of these are historical figures. The psychologists who estimated the IQ’s would have had no way and probably not much inclination to try to estimate the intelligence of relatively unknown people. Basically this list is a ranking of most intelligent well-known people. There may well have been an African woman or Asian man with a higher IQ than anyone on this list, but if they did not leave a body of work to be examined and no one outside of their village or town ever heard of them, they would not make this list.

  • Jen

    I’m sure you already knew this, but I just want to point out that there is a lot of controversy today over using IQ tests to measure intelligence. Yes, people with IQs are usually very intelligent, but there are many, many, types of intelligence that cannot be evaluated by a standard IQ test. And as was said earlier, it can also be culturally biased.

  • Ender

    Wheres Nikola Tesla? you should do top inventors of all time if you haven’t already

  • Sean

    Great addition, Tesla would definitely be on my list.

    • the black angel

      i totally havta giv it up to sean here I mean, serisly, nikola tesla nd srinivasa r. Plus, this is from WIKEPEDIA. I dunt trust that website, no ofense to wikio. But i havta agree w/ some, like wittgenstein and that other one…

      the black angel

  • Roger

    What about Leonhard Euler?

    “Euler is considered to be the preeminent mathematician of the 18th century and one of the greatest of all time. He is also one of the most prolific; his collected works fill 60–80 quarto volumes.A statement attributed to Pierre-Simon Laplace expresses Euler’s influence on mathematics: “Read Euler, read Euler, he is the teacher (master) of us all”.

  • amir

    how can u give test from died persons?
    As I know IQ tests are not very old

  • amir: see the source article – it is based upon estimates.

  • #delphi


    Are you WraithX?

  • #delphi – odd question, but yes – I am :)

  • Mano

    Although I have great respect for these 10 for their achievements, but the method for selecting them has not been explained. I don’t think there are any reliable objective one, and your clearly suffers from the fact that you are confusing the WORLD with mostly western European and USA!

  • Mano

    Although I have great respect for these 10 for their achievements, but the method for selecting them has not been explained. I don’t think there are any reliable objective ones, and yours clearly suffer from the fact that you are confusing the WORLD with mostly western Europeans and the USA!

  • Mano: I appreciate what you are saying, but I am not from Europe or the USA – so believe me, there is not a bias on my part in that direction. And I did say at the top that the list was based upon estimates – I will rewrite the heading tomorrow to make that clearer though. Thanks for commenting even if we don’t agree :)

  • Cyn

    The reason is that I have used a table of IQ estimates for historical geniuses to determine the members and order of this list,

    Sources: Genius IQ Estimates, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Wikipedia

    1st from the leading paragraph and 2nd from the source cited at the end

    so if there is bias..check w/ the source. also the eurocentric slant is something that has already be made mention of in various earlier comments.

  • dadudemon

    I have been tested 5 times by 3 different psychologists. My IQ was listed as technically immeasurable because I have ADHD and could not focus long enough to get an accurate measurement. Even then, they each estimated my IQ as off the scale because it would be over 170 and said that I would have to take a test designed specially for really high IQs…but I haven’t ever seen one of those tests.

    Genius IQs seems to be a trait of my family.

    Just because my IQ is almost double what the average person’s IQ is, doesn’t mean I am that much better at life or really anything for that matter. Because my IQ is so high, I suffer in other areas related to the brain. I suspect ADHD is a symptom of having a high IQ. Other problems I have are forgetting very simple things like where I put my keys and what strawberries are called.

    All my high IQ does for me is allows me to learn and solve things faster than those around me…really that is the only advantage I have observed. People put too much emphasis on an IQ.

    Also, the IQs of those people are relative to their contemporaries.

    • the black angel

      Actually I havta agree w/ da adhd part and them being smartr. But theyr xually smartr w/ there mouths. Ha! Admit it man…

  • Diogenes

    To Dadudemon, “By learning and solving things faster” What exactly are these things? Do you visualize or compile a full problem with mutiple parts simultaneously? Do you have something like photographic memory? What does the ADHD affect? Is there a connection to autism here? I’m just wondering.

  • The Dum Guy

    I realize the irony of me commenting on this, but isn’t “genius” relatively hard to quantify? I mean, you could be a genius at sports like M. Jordan, or at film ala Bergman, and yet not have a very high IQ.

    I don’t have anything really to add, other than to suggest it would be more apt to list geniuses in specific fields.

  • Dani

    At first glance an interesting list, but on second thought subjective, biased and Eurocentric as others have commented. My two points of concern relate to the absence of literary giants and the exlusion of oriental figures. For the former there is the example of Shakespeare whose prolific influence and thought patterns have bewildered and propelled many modern thinkers of other disciplines. For the latter, I am concerned with Chinese, Indian and Persian ancient and medieval thinkers, philosophers, and discoverers among others. Where are Avicenna, Razi, and Rumi as obvious examples from Persia? These people fascinated the likes of Goethe and Pascal, in your list, and functioned next to the Greeks and Romans as the fathers of European Renaissance. By the way, where are Greek giants Aristotle and Plato? I am interested to know their IQs if there is a way to estimate theirs through their hugely influential extant work. Even if an objective list would be densely competitive, I would suggest a more cross-cultural list of geniuses.

  • Dani

    As for Fisher, I am an amateur chess player, and as much as he is my favourite player, I do not put him next to the Cuban Capablanca when it comes to genius. The latter was more of a true genius from the go. By the way, how do you assess IQ based on chess moves? Calculation? Innovation in moves or variations? Wins? Ratings? Opponent strength? Or nationality? (I am asking this one because Russia has had the greatest number of chess champions and the only American world champion makes it into your list?) As an example of one of a kind, Alekhine was the only player in history to announce a mate-in-10 against a player of grandmaster strength at the board, and Kasparov is considered by many to be the strongest player of all times (only to bear in mind that he has had such extensive advantages of pre-match preparation and technology at his disposal which the earlier generation players obviously did not enjoy).

  • JT

    For Fischer, I remember watching a documentary on him, which stated that he took an IQ test when he was in his prime and it came out as 187.

  • 2overpar

    most profound leap in history – e=mc

    also, google “edward witten”

  • Sean the pyro

    I took your advise and looked up Witten. I would have to leave him off just for having been mentioned in an episode of Angel.

  • Kelsi

    JT said…
    “and is a woman of all things!”

    I am EXTREMELY offended by this remark. Please choose your words more carefully.

    As for the list itself, I think everything else that I was going to say about it has already beensaid…Many other cultures or women are not on the list because their achievements and brilliance may not have been noticed or rewarded, especially in the lower classes.

  • Bender

    What a terrible list. I cannot possibly understand how you can even rank geniuses. How does one compare scientific genius, musical genius, artistic genius, philosophical genius, etc. Are some greater than the other?

  • Bender: read the cited source article – it has more information on the whole IQ thing.

  • 2overpar

    sean – witten has a field’s medal, einstein’s job and is at the forefront of string theory research.

  • dadudemon

    For Diogenes,

    By “learning and solving things faster”, I mean that when presented with material to study and be tested on, I would learn the material much faster than my peers. By solving things, I mean I could see the answer and learn new concepts much faster than my peers. (This generally applies to math and physics.)

    I do not visualize and complete problems with multiple parts simultaneously; I solve problems with multiple variables simultaneously. (I can only focus on one thing at a time…even if that one thing at a time changes at a blistering pace…trust me, ADHD isn’t fun when you are supposed to pay attention in an important meeting.) I amazed my highschool Algebra teacher by solving “Systems of Equations” in my head. My limit was 4 variables. (I can’t solve a system of equations with more than 4 variables in my head…I think most people would use matrices for anything over 3 variables.)

    In chemistry, I never had to use conversion factors no matter how complex the question. I could immediately see the desired end result and perform the math to get there. My chemistry professors told me that it was impossible to do chemistry without conversation factors and they were shocked and amazed when I showed them that I could do it without.

    I do not have a photographic memory, per se, I have what I have come to call a ‘virtually photographic memory” because it isn’t the same as other photographic memories I have read about. Some details about that: I cannot pick and chose what my brain decides to take pictures of and it is very random. My dreams are so realistic that I sometimes confuse what has happened in reality with things that happened in my dreams. (That is horrible when you have a vivid memory of something someone did that that didn’t actually do.) Sometimes, when I am recalling an event that actually happened, I can play back the event in my head like a movie and I can even go back over details by “zooming”(by zooming, I mean just that; it is like I can make something in the “playback” come closer to my “eyes”) in on things that I didn’t notice before. (Like remembering the name of a name tag that I saw only from peripheral vision or remembering the nutrition facts off of a food package that I saw with my peripheral vision.) With the afore mentioned ability, I can actually learn something new that I didn’t know before by simply playing back things in my head and focusing on different things.

    ADHD affects my ability to appropriately interact with people. It affects my short term memory. It also allows me to be very good at sports and videogames that are fast paced. I often forget very simple words that everyone takes for granted everyday. (I forgot the word “put” before. I recently had an episode where I became very frustrated because I forgot the word “inexorable”.)

    I do not know if autism is connected to ADHD but I do know autism and “genius” are sometimes two parts of the same pie.

  • Gigaknight

    Marilyn Vos Savant— no relevant contributions. As wikipedia explains, she really messed up on femat’s last theorem. She was critical of the supposed solution, but “in making her case, Marilyn was accused of misunderstanding mathematical induction, proof by contradiction, and imaginary numbers”, which is really standard stuff, as far as I know and have seen in class.

    The three (supposed) greatest minds ever were Archimedes, Newton and Gauss. I Heard this on my school, the science department of my university. (study physics). Gauss thought that Eisenstein should be included too.

    I would personally include those three, and maybe other physicists.

    dadudemon, can you concentrate long enough to write a very large post? seems like it.

  • Arleen

    How can you rank these? and how are these tested? Many of these people around long before IQ was considered quantitative or was even a term used for intelligence. So what makes you say that some had higher IQs than others.

  • i would say all were more leaning to savant as most exceled in only one thing

    • No…

      The only person leaning toward one thing on this list is Bobby Fisher. The rest mostly representative of fields from mathematics, to sciences, to literature, philosophy, and politics. These men are polymaths.

  • Alexandra

    What about that Rainman guy? I have had a complete mental blank and can’t remember his name, but he had such an amazing photographic memory that it took him something like 8 seconds looking at a two pages in a book at a time and he knew them for the rest of his life. I think that is incredible.

    Other than that, I love this list. This website is where I learn all of my little facts, :D.

    I do have to say that I disagree with IQ tests though. If you’re good at an IQ test it doesn’t mean you are smart (it doesn’t mean you aren’t either) it just means you are good at IQ tests.

    What they actually did is far more fascinating than their IQ scores.

  • Jerry

    When I clicked on the list I was expecting to see Albert Einstein as No. 1.

  • mphila

    scrap the i.q. they were never measured during the renaissance period.

  • Stephanie

    How did you rank these geniuses exactly? I am glad you included lesser known people, but am perplexed that you didn’t list the obvious ones (Newton, Einstein). If you had more time, maybe you can create some lists ranked according to mathematical, musical, artistic genius (and so on), and maybe a list for the people who were a jack at all trades (Da Vinci).

  • Stephanie

    Let’s not forget Srinivasa Ramanujan.

  • Sarah

    only one female? how could nine out of ten top geniuses be male? a male made this list.

    • Jorell

      @Sarah: Above IQ of 145, men outnumber women 8 to 1. Here we are discussing IQ’s near 200, in which the disparity is sure to be much, much greater. I’ve never met or heard of anyone with an IQ as high as these. My grandfather has an IQ of 170 and he is exceptional among his grad peers. He reads so fast it makes pant just thinking about it, and he remembers everything he reads. An IQ of 200 means that someone’s mind processes very FAST, and depth of thought is only one dynamic of IQ.

      IQ deals with computational and reasoning intelligence. It is separate from imagination and intuition, which some consider to be other dimensions of genius. Imagination and intuition, combined with a proper mathematician’s IQ, made Sir Isaach Newton, Albert Einstein a genius.

      This article should simply be titled top 10 highest IQ’s in recent Western Europe.

      This is certainly not the top 10 that ever existed. The bamboo curtain and wars in the East have likely caused many Eastern geniuses to historically disappear. :'(

      • Greg

        I am very curious to know what your thoughts are regarding Imhotep, 27th century BC (circa 2650–2600 BC). He is considered to be the first architect, engineer and physician in early history. He designed the Pyramid of Djoser (the Step Pyramid) at Saqqara in Egypt and this gave way to the birth of right triangle trigonometry as we know it.

  • Marilyn Vos Savant, has anyone done a Real search on her and if so why haven’t you realized that no matter how smart you are sometimes you have to do something stupid… Like Become a SCIENTOLOGIST. I used to read her articles all the time till I found out that she was Blind to Idiocy.

  • Related to About comment, she was on “Identity” as the Scientologist. my jaw dropped when I found out. Good luck on the search…

  • kiriel

    No mention of William James Sidis? (IQ 250-300)

    I have been considered exceptional and gifted in some sense as I can learn new skills very fast and can virtualize and represent problems in multiple modalities and models in my minds eye as a visual structure that I then can play with at once. A good parallel would be to imagine you having a kind of 3D graphics software in your mind that you can play around with to represent information that is programmable into any other software upon need and conscious usage.

    But I suspect that since I went cold turkey on caffeine-based drinks my skills are not what they used to be. It is as if long time caffeine usage made my mental system depend upon it to some degree. Taking the caffeine out of the equation is like running an engine made for gasoline on ethanol (which has a lesser relative energy content than gasoline in general). The systems efficiency is no longer what it used to be, it is not as fast and I feel no longer really motivated to apply my mind to any activities. I feel like there are no purposeful directions left. Like having this great machinery but do not find any meaningful use for it.

    The worst thing is to realize how many what-if and what-if-not deductions there are possible in language.

    I guess having high IQ is a great thing to have when you do not have it, but it is not worth having if having it comes with a feeling of meaninglessness. I would rather have normal IQ if that brought a feeling that life is purposeful and imbued with meaning.


  • Abe Mantell

    What about William James Sidis???
    Estimated IQ between 250 and 300!!!
    Isaac Newton (190)?
    Kim Ung-yong (verified IQ of 210)
    Christopher Michael Langan (verified IQ of 195)
    Garry Kasparov (190)?
    Author Marilyn Vos Savant (verified IQ of 186)

    • ADP

      Actually Wittgenstein is 3/4 Jew. Fischer is half jew. In terms of actual contributions, the list is pretty fair although I would definitely change some. Not Leibniz though. I would probably move him to 1 in terms of his fruitfulness.

    • ADP

      Kasparov's IQ is not 190. It is well documented that his IQ is only about 140-150. Still, he was more successful than Savant, Langan, and Sidis, even if you add their contributions together. Makes you wonder if there is more at work than just raw IQ…

  • deathtoall

    I would think alan turing deserved a spot on this list.. but i couldnt find anything on his iq.

  • qoph

    genius rarely ever rears its head to the general public. it usually hides under rocks and is exploited by opportunists in the general vacinity. once in awhile it gets exposed to the masses. it’s rare, though. most of the time, mediocrity has the last word. do you really have to look that far for examples?

  • smart-ass

    U guys are stupid as hell if you think these people were this smart. “estimated iq test.” aaaa shat up!

  • star&crescent

    where is ATATURK??????

  • crescent&star
  • has a long list of famous IQs….

  • dadudemon


    LOL!!! I thought that that conclusion might be drawn and I originally typed up something about why the post was so long but later deleted it because the post was already too long. I wrote that post up while at work off and on.

    Also, I can play video games for 2 or 3 hours at a time so its not like I have the attention span of a goldfish.

    This site is awesome.

  • Diogenes

    Tools and the minds at the time of their invention.
    Having problems arise within a particuliar period in which they can be solved. Thats one thing, but those individuals that we think are ahead of their time or those with brilliance that serves them.
    It’s connected someway to beliefs in fate.
    or DNA continuance, but if it runs in the family. How far back does it go. The origin of the branch from one family tree to the next?
    It becomes indecipherable(sp?) throughout the milelage of time.
    but some can decode or untangle the strand and are called genius, while the others that do the same (but are perhaps are overwhelmed) are considered insane.

  • Amber

    Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz looks like Amy Winehouse.

  • Polly Odyssey

    Some of these people are personal heroes of mine. I love Bobby Fischer, even though I don’t play Chess.

  • avi

    the first ppl to come in to mind when i think of geniuses: from 1 to 10, newton, einstein, da vinci, nikola tesla, edison, galileo, stephen hawking, mozart, ben franklin, darwin.

  • John Stavrakakis

    I would say a genius is someone who came to a problem they didnt know about and managed to solve it without using approaches they already know of. Lots of those listed actually had invested alot of time into something that actually proved significant to society, no wonder they are labelled geniuses.

  • mike

    I didn’t think IQ went beyond 200. Doesn’t 200 mean that for 100% of the population there is only one person for that IQ? What does 205 mean, then?

  • Nabila

    You might want to check out Toussaint Louverture if you want to add some diversity to your list – however I’m not sure he’s considered an all around genius, but I know he’s considered a military genius.

  • SmartAlec

    What about Stephen Hawking? And Da Vinci should be number 1

  • avi

    IQ and intelligence are two different things. it’s not how high youre IQ is, its what you do with it (in that case, i don’t know about #8) vos sant i dont know much about. you don t have to be an all-round genius to make the list. but the all-round geniuses would rank higher.and for the what you do with your IQ thing, how about someone like einstein, or edison? and da vinci should be number 1.

  • EXE

    avi: good point.
    I disagree, however, with your assertion that da Vinci would be #1. Pretty much all of the machinery he designed was fanciful and would never work. It was well-drawn but conceptually not genius. It is just that he would be most well-known for his art because that ‘s the only place he really had any impact. People point out that he first conceptualized the flying machine, but remember that that’s probably not true; his fame in art makes him more known than others who probably had similar and equally fanciful ideas, none of which would work.
    I think that people like Yeats, Joyce and Shakespeare should be up here. Certainly I think that writers are more important than people like #2 and 10. I’m sorry #10; I love that you represent ladies (like myself) but perhaps there is a reason why I’ve never heard of you before now.
    Did anyone else notice that most of these people German?
    Dani: yes, totally! Plato! Aristotle! Socrates!
    What about Homer?

  • EXE

    avi: I forgot the musical geniuses!
    Jacqueline du Pre was a cellist who broke the mold. Cellists were supposed to be dainty and delicate; watch a youtube video of her performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto; watch her move as she feels the music. She did not care what people thought of this spectacle; she loved music and wanted it to be part of her instead of being its puppet. She died at 45 of MS.
    What about Mozart? Bach? Beethoven, first to express a concept through music with his piece ‘L’Orage’ (I think that was the title; anyway it evoked a storm).

  • EXE: A simple search will give you more than enough info on the Intelligence of da Vinci. Most of his sketches and blue prints that have being evaluated have been built. Including the First Robot. For anyone who doubts his theories on flight, the ornithopter has been built and is used by the US military.

  • avi

    comment #74 does not apply anymore,sorry.

  • avi

    “and is a woman of all things” no

  • marty

    Thomas Jefferson?

  • ted

    Whoever voted for Johann von Goethe to be considered more of a genius than Leonardo Da Vinci must have had a biased opinion to make such an insanely transparent error, or is doing a great job angering enough people to add to this blog by doing so. If this was voted for without such deception, whoever wrote the above ‘bio’ for Da Vinci not only omitted several capabilities and studies that Da Vinci mastered but also exaggerated some of Goethe’s “ingenious accomplishments”. If anyone rational looked up all of the accomplishments of Da Vinci and put their own nationality, heritage, personal passions, personal interests, hobbies and current careers aside, they would clearly see that Da Vinci’s capabilities outweighed Goethe’s to deserve the entitlement of the word ‘genius’ degraded by this error.

    To start, let’s show a little more integrity and state everything that Da Vinci studied and applied in lieu of a mere ‘5’ of them above:
    -drawing / sculpting / painting
    -engineering e.g. bridges
    -inventions: flying machines, land vehicles, diving gear, water crafts, tanks, cranes, clocks, printing press, parachute, robot, lifting jack textiles, water pumps, canals, drills, etc.
    -draftsman / cartography / writing
    -architecture / mathematics
    -biology / botany / geology / science
    -natural history / Italian polymath
    -music / musician
    -philosophy, and even the telling of fables

    Second, let’s look once again at Goethe’s studies and accomplishments:
    -theatre director
    -statesman / lawyer
    -amateur artist


    1)Notice that all of Goethe’s accomplishments -except for ‘being a scientist’- are limited to the capabilities of reading, creative or analytical writing and rhetoric. Anyone involved in rhetoric is leaving the room only involved with absolute truths and entering a room of manipulation. Manipulation is a matter of having the character to defend falsities, not genius. My own dog goes out to fake like he’s peeing just so he’ll get a pat on the head. With pride aside, let’s at least utilize a little candor and admit something about literary fields of work. As Henry David Thoreau once said, “To say things that you will not hear, to write things that you will not read, that is to do rare things.” His point being the same as even Goethe’s: “All truly wise thoughts have already been thought thousands of times.” Anyone who considers them self an adamant reader knows that this is true.

    2)Goethe was a ‘critic’? Do we seriously have to deny the fact that literally anyone can criticize anything?

    3)Goethe was an ‘amateur’ artist?

    4) Most importantly, Da Vinci achieved far more capabilities than Goethe to constitute evidence for deserving the ‘genius’ title. People forget that everything is in opinion, e.g. Faust or Da Vinci’s infamous paintings. The only thing left that points towards ‘genius’ is one’s capabilities and innovation. The inventions, and the numerous fields of study that Da Vinci mastered and pioneered truly outnumber Goethe’s, Shakespeare’s and Mozart’s. We have to put our personal passions and interests aside and admit the obvious.

    • ADP

      Although I agree with the content of your post, what is interesting, is that if you actually look at Da Vinci's contributions, they are very meager as well. He painted a few pictures, most of which were overrated, and drew some things that looked like helicopters, LOL. I think it was the mentality, and the creative way of viewing the world that made these guys geniuses… in terms of contributions, meh…

  • Rokket Doktor

    where’s tesla???

  • TookForeverToRead

    there should be a rule that says “before you respond/complain, you should read the whole page”. i’ve seen so many people either say the same thing as a bunch of people before them, or wonder how the I.Q. points were awarded, when not only does the author of the page explain that (where to find out, atleast), but it was also explained a bunch of times during the additional comments.

  • pinklady

    what happened to sr. isaac newton or einstein?

  • jajdude

    Maybe Aristotle could be up there too?

  • jajdude

    maybe Shakespeare too

  • jim

    i cant belive that all of you people are such nerds. who does this suff. iam here for school. GET A LIFE….and end it

  • nerd

    i can’t believe that someone who considers “talk of great minds and thier accomplishments” to be a “nerd” thing to do, is actually ON this website.. don’t respond just to insult people. i mean you wouldn’t like it if i told you to “go back to jock-straps-r-us, now would you? how could anyone consider conversation about great minds to be a what makes you ask “who does this suff”? obviously, people who are curious about the minds of mankind, heh.

  • Ryan Sklenar

    I say, “learning about a genius mind of the past, promotes inspirational thinking for the minds of the future.” -Ryan Sklenar

  • jack h

    I think jim needs to learn to appreciate the minds that made his priveledged life possible. It is only through the accomplishements of great men like these that he has anything technologicaly advanced. Next time he is siiting on the crapper he should think of how these men helped get him a working toilet.

  • jim

    hey guys i am really sorry about what i said earlier. you guys are right.i should really learn to appriciate the work of our forefathers. i mean withour benjamin franklin where would we be, and sir issac newton? they were amazing contributers to the new era of physics and electricity.what i’m saying is that i feel really bad about slamming all you nerds out there,which i am now one of… so if all you would forgive me i would be more than happy to contribute my input on some of the greatest geniuses ever, such as ben franklin and galileo. so please, i am begging all of you, giveth me thus another chance.

  • jimmy

    You guys are should not be allowed to waste your time on this. You have no lives. You need to leave your house every once in while. The world has more to offer than geniuses. Maybe you should go to some sort of public event. I know it would be way out of your small little shell, but thats O.K. Now go et a life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • hoo joo foolin

      dear jim jimmy jimbob GTFO ty

  • nerd-hater-girl

    i know as a female on this website the main readers and writers of these aforementioned comments will be quite unused to conversing with me. i assure you while i am a girl, i am only scary if you mess with me. now, listen to me little nerd boys. Do not be afraid to come out into the light friends! do not sit alone in your well-equiped basements playing dungeons and dragons any more!! your acne and your mother will thank you for some fresh air into your sweaty pores. i’m sure you all have your reasons for staying alone on friday nights: homework, this website, and possibly even some video game forum. but please. before you venture into the beautiful world i am a part of…do us all a favor. take a shower. buy some good acne products. i recommend a visit to your dermotologist. and maybe toss the old shirts proclaiming your nerdhood into a trash compactor. then maybe you could get a high five from a fat chick. its all you’ve got to hope for. and no, you will not dominate the earth and take over the more attrative people that mocked you. you will end up living in your moms basement until she dies…and maybe for a few weeks after. so good luck or in your speak ” may the force be with you!!”
    -to nerds everywhere. we are sick of seeing you in your current condition. beautify the earth! and wash your face!

  • SpeedReader

    visiting this site takes but a few minutes, and if you get really caught up in something interesting, then maybe an hour or 2. either way, it’s far from ANYONE’S whole life, just a nice little perk, an extra bit of interesting info to add to a day filled with many things OTHER than this website.

  • avi

    there’s lots more geniuses, why not list all of them

  • nerd -hater- boy

    Nerd hater girl what are you doing. You are inviting nerds into the world of the living, us, the beautiful people. Dont encourage them to break free from their basement bondage, and breed with other nerds. You are playing with a dangerous thing, think of the consequences for human life.

  • Nerd-hater-boy and girl: Shouldn’t you two be on the beach dying of skin cancer?

  • shuja

    where is Albert Einestien ,he was a real genius , have you forgot him or left intentionally

  • sensible guy

    This list is ridiculous. The idea of genius needs to be related to achievement. Its just insane that someone like Einstein isn’t on there. He single-handedly came up with, what is often regarded as, the greatest physics theory of all time, General Relativity. This theory and others have revolutionised the way we consider the universe. If some of these other guys are so smart, why don’t they come up with something as grand and profound themselves. The reason they don’t is because they can’t.

    And don’t even get me started on Newton’s amazing achievements or Shakespeare’s.

    Someone who actually understands genius realises it so important to look at what they have achieved, not whether they can solve a few trivial little IQ puzzles.

  • Captain Obvious

    although a great accomplishment is a good indicator of a high IQ, i still believe that just because you have a high IQ doesn’t mean you will achieve great things, and just because you achieved great things, doesn’t mean you have a higher IQ than someone who Didn’t achieve those same things, unless both parties have had identical lives up until the point that the “great things” were achieved, and they each wanted to accomplish the same “great things”. many things, such as a lack of drive or ambition, depression, or just being pre-occupied with things other than “great things” your whole life, could explain why genius “a” did less “great things” than genius “b”, but that doesn’t mean genius “a” has any less of an IQ then genius “b”. perhaps “a” had no desire to do what the judges (you, the masses, whoever) considered to be “great things”. Unless you’ve seen them fail (and even then, they’d have to fail repeatedly to convince me), i don’t think you could say they Couldn’t do it, just that they Didn’t do it. also, i agree about the trivial little IQ tests, especially the geographically biased ones, not being a 100% accurate measurment of an IQ, unless you know EVERYTHING that the subject has and hasn’t been exposed to.

  • 123

    Europeans are supposed to be the smart ones?
    Asian fart sounds better than your biased statements…
    Research more on thos people who live in the biggest continent. cause that’s most likely where you are going to find the smartest people.
    Whit supremacists!

  • Joe

    Wheres Ronald McDonald?

  • I tell, you were getting some Real geniuses in here!

  • rushfan

    duh, at the Ronald McDonald house.

  • poetryman103

    what about bohr one of the only guys to make Einstein to look at the uncernity princple and realise it was true and create the Copenhagen view of quantum mechanics from einstein own thought expreiment.

  • UGK


    Where the hell is William J. Sidis? Pretty shocked not seeing him in the first place…

  • Mark

    My IQ is around 183. No joke.

  • venter

    I think the IQ staff is bias, and I heard by the grape vine that great minds were african scholars, so why no african genius, in concern with the list where is:


  • i stopped reading at #10

    … because of the dopey explanation about why de stael would be included instead of rene descartes … all things being equal, which they aren’t…

  • Double

    This is among the most ridiculous lists here!

  • groove

    Where’s Shakespeare?

  • Unification

    All of you are idiots to try to assert with absolute certainty any of your ridiculous and wild claims.

    Everything is relative.
    IQ is impossible to measure.
    Genius hasn’t been defined.

    The women at the top of the list doesn’t have the highest IQ, and historically speaking the only women who has done anything worth mentioning is Marie Curie.

    Man is the measure of all things.
    I know that I know nothing.

    Objectivity doesn’t exist.

  • Daniel Wallin

    notice how it is only white people? makes me feel proud of my race!

  • MESH

    I too say that there should have been other names in the list. I don’t see any reason why Ramanujan is not in there. He is probably by far the greatest of all mathematicians, though ,of course,his fields of interest does not seem many and diversified,say as that of Gauss and Euler.
    Nerd hater girl and boy:I wonder if you are intelligent enough to imagine what kind of world you would be living in had there not been so many nerds in the past centuries. Let me help you imagine.You would still be in the stone age.

  • Default

    Daniel W..

    I personally refuse to believe that Asia, Africa and the Americas are seemingly incapable of producing geniuses.

    This is due to the warped view of the original compilers. After all, it was done in 1926 and I honestly don’t think that they measured – I mean came up with – these numbers because of how THEY viewed the world, the culture and society around them.

    Those numbers have absolutely no scientific or historical basis, they are mere conjecture and reflect personal opinions of so-called psychologists.

  • avi

    extend the list!

    • Anonymous

      Why should we?!?!

  • Jamie

    White Power

  • Missin from List???

    I am surpized that I wuz lef off the list. My teacher actually said yesterday, “Junior, you are a real genius, just a real genius”. I wood appreciate some respeck and should be menshuned.

  • Paulb

    ive taken like a bunch of online IQ tests and ive gotten like 130s and 140s, so that was pretty cool but i don’t think the tests are much too accurate

  • Hayden

    this list is ridiculously stupid.

    1. how can you base how smart some one is by their iq? if there was a conversion rate to how intellegint you are between early cavemen and the modern humans today, the cavemen who invented tools, weapons, refining ores etc would greatly outrule these geniuses. Dont kid me wrong these people are great, but think about who youre dealing with before you post lists like this.

    2. This would be a much greater list if you mentioned the schooling they had. Because if there was a super genius with an iq of 278 just say, it would be a bias atatement because they would have some kind of 12 hour day mind training.

    3.The iq gets ruled out again, because you dont need an iq of 210 to understand atoms, and the great lord ernest rutherford isnt even on this list and he discovered very important information about atoms that is being taught in my extension science class this year, and i am only 13!.

  • Isaac

    where’s vos savant and Akrit Jaswal, the indian prodigy? both are regarded as having extremely high iq’s.

  • joe

    Everyone hear is French, Italian or German.
    No composers? Beethoven, Mozart? Mozart composed a concerto at age 8

  • astraya

    Mozart composed a concerto at age 8
    Yes, but it wasn’t very good! Who plays it now?

  • Ray

    This list is foolish. Genius and IQ have a very weak relationship to each other. Some geniuses may not have a high IQ because IQ tests see how well you can do monotonous logic problems over and over again where as true genius like that of Mozart or Einstein is based on creativity. They likely would not bore themselves with doing a bunch of monotonous logic puzzles day and night that already have an answer and rather create new things. Thus, many geniuses would not have that high of an IQ. Look at Mariam Vos Savant. Her IQ is super high and you can tell from her commentary that she has a very logical step by step thinking style good for logic puzzles, but there is NOTHING about her that shows she can think outside the box or in new, interesting and abstract ways. She will never produce anything great and historically significant with her super high IQ and the mark of genius is to be able to create great and new things. Thus IQ is a terrible determinate of genius and cannot measure creativity.

  • Ah. Leonardo got second. Oh well great list

  • Cesar

    By current standards, Mozart should be at the very top, even ahead Sidis, or what score would result if an IQ test was applied to toddler mozart? or to 6 year old Mozart? or to a pre-teen Mozart capable of composer complex classical pieces?

    Do you reading at young age is more complex than playing the violin pretty well at young age, for instance?

    BTW…Kasparov IQ is NOT 190…check
    “However, in 1987 German
    newsmagazine Der Spiegel arranged for a team of psychologists to test Garry Kasparov’s
    abilities. He indeed had a high but not spectacularly high IQ score (well over 120) ”

    MUSIC is the TOP INTELLIGENCE BOOSTER, not chess, reading or other activities suggested here….

  • joconde

    where the hell is einstein

  • efededefzef

    blaise pascal should be first by far, he contributed and was in his time the best in nearly all fields you can imagine:
    math, litterature, physics, mecanics (invented the first calculator), initiated public transportation, philosophy ( read pascal and youll have a more complete version of everything you can find in philosophy today),
    i personnally read pascal, and i have no use for reading anything else, its mind blowing and scary as hell. the world you know as it is today wouldnt be the same if pascal hadnt existed, and i dont think any other "genius" could pretend as much.

    • Old english with accent

      Why does’t thou write so many words??????

  • Steve

    Isaac Newton. duh.

  • Roger

    This list is ridiculous. IQ testing was not around when these people graced the earth! What means were used to determin IQ level?? Granted that most had stellar IQs. What about Nikola Tesla? He would have to rank as one of the highest IQs in history surely?

  • Paulb

    Kim Ung-yong is missing

  • Cesar

    I guess achievements is a requirement here, that’s why Von Savant, Sidis or the korean guy woud be outside.

    FWIW check this about the intelligence myths on William James Sidis…

    When you see an apparently abnormal intelligence without training, there’s always a catch….even Mozart, the ultimate prodigy, had extremedly hard training….so you can safely guess a lot of training behind every kind of prodigy.

    However, I wouldn’t go the the latest trend, saying that ‘talent’ is overrated and implying that training alone can do the trick… evidence says that both are requirements and neither can work alone…

  • It seems strange to me to put Da Vinci lower than Goethe. Also, leaving out Issac Newton and Einstein… these men have influenced the world in so many ways, regardless of what their IQ’s may have been. And don’t forget Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach as well. As Ray said, while genius and IQ are related, IQ is not the only measure of genius. Genius is more the ability to innovate and come up with new ideas rather than just some score on a test.

  • Anonymous

    I’m surprised no medieval Muslim polymaths were included, considering their inventions of the numerical system we all use, the decimal point, algebra etc. Nonetheless I’m glad to see a list of geniuses which is based on achievement rather than merely IQ.

  • Andri

    Bobby fischer became an icelandic citizen before he died, so technically, he’s not american…

  • turkish vitali

    i think minds and peoples iqs are very interesting to me and have an imense impact on our societies wether it be good or bad rich middle class or poor. warren buffet, jesus christ, socrates, albert einstein, mozart and others are some i can mention form the top of my head but are some historical figures geniuses or mad men like alexander the great, hitler, lenin, genghis kahn, pablo escobar, lucky luciano are a mix of intelligence, smarts and could it also be geniuses? maybe, maybe not.

  • Rohit Sapru

    Coming up with something like estimated IQ is ridiculous.
    Coming up with ANY sort of reason to exclude Albert Einstein is even MORE ridiculous.

    Isaac Newton ???
    Nikola Tesla ???
    Srinivasa Ramanujan ???

    Oh man you got to be kidding me..!!

  • Kassie

    I believe that another artist should have been put up into this top list. Andrew Wyeth.

  • Pingback: DVD? ??? «

  • davinci13


  • trfan

    I’m sure more women would be on the list if more women throughout history had been granted access to education and were taken seriously in the political, philosophical, literary, and scientific fields. It’s sad to think how many women could be considered among the great but who were born in a time and place of repression that didn’t allow them to utilize their potential.

  • trfan

    And what is wrong with this website that it seems to break down every five minutes every day?

  • AF

    I agree with most of the people on the list, but im not agreeing with the order. Besides that, great list.

  • Roger

    I agree with this list by Avi who posted it above.

    “the first ppl to come in to mind when i think of geniuses: from 1 to 10, newton, einstein, da vinci, nikola tesla, edison, galileo, stephen hawking, mozart, ben franklin, darwin”.

  • RL

    I think your under the misconception that genius is based on IQ which it’s not. Genius is based partly on logical intelligence (measured by IQ) but is mainly based on great imagination/creativity/ability to formulate new and significant ideas which there is no test for except that person’s impact on humanity and critical review of their work. Bobby Fischer has a high IQ but doesn’t even come close to the creativity/imagination of people like Einstein or Mozart.

  • homer simpson

    according to this list, the highest IQs have only belong only to white European people. BULLSHIT. lets discuss the topic of cultural bias……

  • Cesar

    cultural bias? what about ACHIEVEMENTS? do they also have cultural bias?

    I agree a genius list should be based in achievements not on estimated IQ….but apart from thar, you can’t negate ACHIEVEMENTS, those are beyond cultural limitations, isn’t it?

    Wich non-european ethnic person(this excludes US and Canada) would you say to have had more impact in mankind knowledge than Da Vinci, Nietzsche, Socrates, Darwin, Einstein, Bohr, Shakespeare?

    Perhaps just a few, but you can’t deny that the bold of the achivements came from european ethnicity….isn’t it?

    I guess we (non-europeans) should stop complaining and start WORKING in improving the love to knowledge of our generations…like some ASIAN countries are doing now with their kids. And they’re seeing RESULTS.

    In many third world countries they still claim for ‘keeping our traditions’ when such traditions are more of a bruden than an asset….

    If ‘our culture’ is helding is back, then let’s get rid of such culture….let’s get involved in helping our relatives more worried about knowledge and science than about ‘our traditions’…isn’t it possible?

  • homer simpson

    History is often written with cultural bias. great minds who are not within the realm of the specific culture are often cast aside.this isn’t complaining, this is just as part of history.

  • Just Browsing the Internet

    The first IQ test was invented in the early 1900’s by a certain Alfred Binet. There were intelligent tests in some parts of the world, but none of them would yield what we understand as an IQ score. My question is a simple one. How could the likes of Galileo and Da Vinci have taken a test that didn’t exist yet? If they didn’t, how could you know their IQ’s?

  • Just Browsing the Internet


    149. RL – April 15th, 2009 at 1:33 am

    I think your under the misconception that genius is based on IQ which it’s not. Genius is based partly on logical intelligence (measured by IQ) but is mainly based on great imagination/creativity/ability to formulate new and significant ideas which there is no test for except that person’s impact on humanity and critical review of their work. Bobby Fischer has a high IQ but doesn’t even come close to the creativity/imagination of people like Einstein or Mozart.

    Spot on, RL!

  • licoln burrows

    what about Michael Scoffield? is he not included on the list?

  • michael

    WOW!I am impressed. But were are miare cure,plato and who said that the IQ of A.Einseitn’s is around 160 I thought he was the best.

  • djbon

    to #126 astraya – haha you are ignorant!! maybe u should buy tickets to a classical music concert around town. the alphabet song? twinkle twinkle little star?? who composed this as a child? MOZART!! my friend… we still sing the tunes today dont we?

    this list is ridiculous as has been mentioned one too many times. maybe you should make your own list instead of copying from britannica or something>
    i would but im not bothered enough.

    where are the asians? apparently not smart enough to compete with the other contenders…

  • astraya

    He didn’t compose that as a child. He wrote variations on the tune that someone else wrote, when he was 25.

    I’ll put my bachelor’s degree and three diplomas in music and 30 years performing, teaching, composing and arranging up against anything that you’ve got.




    sorry! bad list gentlemen !

    capt ajit vadakayil

  • chess player 007


  • statespaaace

    Interesting list, but IQ is overrated.

  • vash

    tesla ftw.

  • kc


  • jeral

    what is with this list? i can’t seem to understand how you came to such an absolute value of iq, for people who you know practically nothing about. All you write about is the few points people actually know of these “geniuses” were, and you are deriving a iq and order based on those few facts. Not to mention iq test are the most pathetic test ever invented by man kind, when it comes to accuracy of what they are designed to prove.

    not to mention where is Newton, the greatest mind the world has ever seen? or Einstein, who is arguably Newton’s “second coming”? Aristotle or any of the other great greek minds, who thought centuries above their time.

    so in all honesty this is a terrible list as perhaps only 1 of your 12 deserve to be there and even then they are out of rank!

  • pop

    every iq test are caduc before 1950

  • M Mac

    Got to agree with a few earlier comments. This is not a list of geniuses, it is a list of IQ’s or supposed IQ’s.

    I would like to see this list rewritten to reflect what serious genius has contributed, the likes of Einstein for example, Da Vinchie must stay of course.

    Having a vast IQ does not make you a genious as IQ testing is a general test. Most people who are genious specialise in only a few fields of study.

    The other matter is defination of genious when it comes to which field the work in, Military genious, scientific, artistic, literary or possibly comedy.

    I read this list with interest but thought it ill thought out.

  • yif

    there are many many more geniuses in the world, and you can’t judge on how clever they are compared to others just by IQ, its all about what they do best that contibuted to the world!

  • Lk

    @ yif: I agree with you. Besides, it also does not matter if they are White, Black or Asian. What’s important is that they had ‘did their best to contribute something good to the world.’

  • ron

    you are dumb.. you cant simply say a person is a genius based on their IQ…there are so many other factors to be considered stupid! How the hell did Madame De Stael helped change th world?? or Even her era!!

    Sorry Mister but your list is Disrespectful, Biased, and to put it bluntly STUPID (like you).

  • MKD

    Who came up with this iq test thing coz I thing it’s missing something.Its not that all minds have to b measured using the same technique!!!!!!!

  • African genius

    Has this guy considered some of Africa’s best.I mean the likes of Shaka,if u read yo history carefully u will find that the guy was gud at what he was doing.

  • Gene E. Yus

    Should have included Leonard Euler over Pascal.

  • misanthropope

    talk about pulling numbers out your ass. yeah, pascal, the author of one cute trick and mountains of rubbish, had an IQ a full standard deviation above any human being alive today.

    hint, half the human beings EVER born are alive right now.

  • Manjil P. Saikia

    Oh my God, no Ramanujan here…..that’s gross!

  • MikePerfect at AOL dot com

    It’s amazing how ridiculous many of these posts are – we’ve got everything here: complete and utter stupidity, racism, shouting and various other clueless nonsense… oh well, at least some of it is funny! :)

  • rendezvous with the foolish void

    geniuses are fuckable autistic savants that are abnormal because of their impaired social life and devotion to such passion which would not help them view the real essence of existence..

  • MikePerfect at AOL dot com

    this “real essence of existence” being what, exactly?

  • Said

    Surprised not to see von Neumann, or Helmholtz. Newton, too. But I guess he wouldn’t want to share a list with Leibniz.

  • Said

    Euclid, but maybe his IQ isn’t 180 or over.

  • rendezvous with the foolish void

    (@?-#177) what makes us smart are those things that fascinate us. as person with great IQ, it is in their nature to question everything and would like to know everything, they would like to solve mysteries of natural phenomena with precise and scientific basis and would not want to rely on fantasy which every average person specially in the ancient times does. they are totally preoccupied with these enigma that they tend not to engage to a simple, foolish and ignorant life and interact with average people leaving their scientific thoughts behind.. they died with great uncertainties and regrets for not knowing everything and suffer from nervous breakdowns. the real essence of existence is to be self actualized, do you think their great scientific achievements would make them self actualized? being self actualized is at the top level of maslow’s hierarchy of needs..

  • juan

    Where is Dario Barba. Google him if you don’t know.

  • Sarah

    Verry good list,but,still,not exact, cause it was made from the perspective of the western-coulture author. Come on, there are no Indians, Arabs, Russians,Chenese, old- Greeks, Latins, and many,many,many other super-brains from east.

    I miss: Ghandi, Kasparov, Tesla, M. Currie, Mendelejev, Platon, Aristotel, Pithagora, Tagore, Tolstoi,……..

  • Some guy

    Let’s be honest. If we base ‘genius’ on scale of influence we’d have a completely different list.

    1. The unknown Chinese scientist who invented gunpowder.

    2. Pick your choice of favorite dominant conqueror (Alexander the Great, Napoleon, etc)

    If we go by IQ we get anomalies like William Sidis, the man who at the age of either 9 or 11 was grading academic papers on logic at Harvard.

    If we go by popularity we can just look at the people most cited by academics, end up with Noam Chomsky (living) and probably Plato or Aristotle (dead).

    Intellectual achievements that have stood the test of time (with reverence)? Euclid. Newton still had Leibniz to counter him, splitting up the Calculus origin lovers into their separate camps thus diminishing the profoundness of their achievements (to a small but noticeable extent)

    IQ without the pedigree to diminish failure (remember most scientists were nobles and wealthy, so they had the luxury to dick around with science). If we think of both IQ and ascendancy of the individual without class privilege your money goes to someone like Ramanujan.

    About Einstein… I think the Physics Community at the end of the day is more indebted to Bohr. Dirac, Pauli and Fermi are up there too.

    Either way. #1 should be the guy who first invented Gunpowder.

  • nicoleredz3
  • David

    Um what about Ted Kaczynski I mean he had an IQ of 169 at age eleven.

  • @david 169 in a list which starts at no 10 with 180?! By the way, who’s ted kaczynzki?
    The list is made by estimated IQ. Of course, we have even today problems to create a perfect IQ test, trying to estimate historical figures just analyzing their work and biography is clear an inaccurate method. On the other hand is not very smart from us to credit to much as a genius a man who made nothing special or not so much for humanity. Is a wasted gift and not to smart for that …smart guy, isn’t?
    By the way, Von Savant messed up a theory and is not a name which bring you in mind some special abilities of her mind. Other gifted heroes we have to exclude their talent which cannot be an entire prove of their intelligence. That’s why Shakespeare is not in top ten. If so, why not OJ Simpson be there too? Kiddin’

  • @#$!

    Where the hell is Issac Newton??!

  • John

    IQ is just ONE portion of the ability of the brain. I have been a member of MENSA since the 1980’s (Now I know why I had problems in school) and have since studied the brain. I also am a obsessive compulsive learner.

    Some people with high IQ have only an excellent memory and THINK they are smart. However, their memory is better than 99% of the population. I have authored a book, have had over 50 occupations (common with intelligent persons), and a number of careers. My memory is only average, however, my analytical creativity is in the top 1% of the population. My music ability is below average which is another part of the brain. My literary ability is below average even though I grossed over$150,000 in my book sales. I used my analytical ability to know what topic would best sell to a single (non-public) market.

    Some of the historical geniuses have an excellent memory coupled with the IQ of a genius. Most successful geniuses also are obsessive compulsive perfectionists who will continue a project to a satisfied completion. A group of highly intelligent people working together with a good leader can accomplish greater success.

    A genius can discover all the answer to world problems. It takes a greater genius to convince the public and politicians that they are right and do something about it.

  • Jason

    Where are Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, Archimedes, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, William Shakespeare, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, Pythagoras, Euclid, Mozart, Beethoven, et al??

    Genius is a idea or set of ideas that change the direction of the world for a positive.

    “Talent is hitting a target that others cannot. Genius is hitting a target that others cannot see.”

  • Elias

    I’m sorry but this list is horrible. Estimated IQ…what the hell. IQ isn’t even a very accurate test, it does not measure genius. Genius is to go where no one was able to, realize new things and revolutionize the world. Having said that. Einstein and Newton should be on this list. And what about Galois, he died at the age of 20 yet there is a theory named after him in abstract algebra.

  • theOneWithoutASecond

    estimated IQs are useless and inaccurate…

    But why isn’t Newton on this list? Newton makes the top ten list of mathematicians, and also the the top ten list of physicists, there’s really no other genius like Newton

  • Breakdance

    Fun list.But leaving out Newton and Tesla?wow!Einstein i can understand if you are only talking about just the number of the i.q itself.They only estimate his around 160.But the one thing that really makes me question how much research you did on this is the fact that you left out WILLIAM SIDIS!!!Little doubt he was the smartest person of all time.Great site!

  • Mathew

    I had always heard and read that Da Vinci's IQ was estimated at 220 not 205. Might want to look into that more.

  • tigerfedor

    what a crap list, look at someone like marilyn vos savant….IQ 185, is she considered to be a greater genius than issac or einstein?. IQ is based on GENERAL intelligence, so vocabulary scores and reading comprehension etc, so what if some of the greatest geniuses did'nt have these abilities, they were able to understand and achieve things people with much higher IQ's could not, why? because they were true geniuses. Also, if someone scores perfect on a spatial abilities test, but has lower reading comprehension and vocabulary, are theY considered less of a genius than someone who has a higher average score…ie can do lots of things well but none of them great?….all this is assuming a perfect IQ does'nt miss any aspect of intelligence. Achievement is the only way to prove you can do something others cannot , that is what truly gives you the title of genius

  • Bernhard

    I miss Euler and Gauss in this list. Did they really have an IQ below 180 ?

  • Ben

    This list is absurdly ignorant. The fact of the matter is, especially given the Flynn Effect, that there are actually several hundred to thousands of members of the current populace who surpass Goethe, Da Vinci, and so on. Furthermore, anybody who attempts to quantify Einstein's intellect is incorrect, especially when grossly mis-classifying his mind-bending but utterly accurate theories as the work of somebody "only" four standard deviations from the norm. There is no evidence to support the vast majority of these claims, though rest assured that the intellectual horsepower on this list (perhaps with the exception of Mr. Fisher) pales in comparison to the Newtons, Wittens, and Einsteins of the world – the capacities of the aforementioned persons are simply rarer. Where am I coming from with such assertions? I am a psychology doctorate, specializing in neuropsychology. In other words, I administer hundreds of IQ tests, and time and time again, thus granting me expertise which the creator of this list clearly does not possess. By the way, Vos Savant, Langan, and especially Kim Ung-Yong are all documented over 200 (though based on the author's other lists, I suspect a Korean man will never be given his due via this forum).

  • Alvaro

    Which of them dropped out??

  • theOneWithoutASecond

    Estimated IQ is inaccurate and wrong. You just can't "estimate" IQ.

    Henri Poincare who is known as one of the greatest mathematicians failed an IQ exam.
    Richard Feynman who is known as one of the greatest physicists only had an IQ of 125, which is just in the gifted range not genius.

    If Poincare and Feynman never took IQ tests everyone would've "estimated" their IQs to be > than 150

  • Che

    I think that african geniuse can be found during the time of the pharohs. That time period has sparked a civilization that exist to this day. There is no more influence than that period .


    This list is meaning less top genius man of all time are

    OSHO RAJNEESH (indian mystic)


    Jain 24th Tirthankara MAHAVIR


    KABIR (indian saint)


  • theOneWithoutASecond

    Terrible list

    IQs simply cannot be estimated, no one knows there's real IQ

    • Jay

      I.Q. measures certain basic factors and does it reasonably well when it's applied properly. Lots of people know their I.Q. That's not the question The questions are more like: How useful is it to measure those factors. How well do they represent intellectual capacity? Even if the traits measured are important, what use are they if paired with an indolent, non-ambitious personality?

      I might have an I.Q. of 90 and be one of the world's greatest poker players. I might have an I.Q. well above genius level and work as a patent clerk.

      I.Q. is not especially predictive, but it is real and I think we will eventually find out what it's good for.

  • nonefamous

    I would like a more detailed definition of who you think is a genius. I can't believe you put goethe before davinci. And yes einstein may not have had the highest iq (though much, much higher than mine) but who contributed more towards society? Why isn't newton on the list? You can mention davinci, einstein or newton and most of the people on the planet will know who you are talking about. You should make several lists. One for the highest iq of all time and one for geniuses who influenced society the most.

  • chicoloco

    Marilyn vos savant should not count, this woman have written or made develop many IQ tests for magasins and mensa,therefore shes score high in IQ test.
    this list is shit because the tre smartest aren't here Tesla,Einstein,Fynman.

  • White boy

    And once again, only white-skinned people make the list. Our world's history of and seeming intoxication with white-skinned privilege is deplorable. Our history, present and future would be immensely more enjoyable, peaceful and brilliant/innovative if skin color weren't a predictor of people's opportunities, education, health, and so on. How unfortunate for humanity! (And I'm a white 33 year old, born in Alabama and raised in Georgia and California.)

  • kenneth

    Not the listing I would have expected. I suppose I thought “impact on society” would have been considered. In that regard, I expected Einstein, Edison, Henry Ford, Oppenheim, Teller, etc. By the way, some of the threads speak of “photographic memory.” Anybody ever play gin against Stuey Ungar? He could allegedly go through 2 shuffled decks of cards (total 104) one by one, and when there were only 2 cards left, he could (allegedly) tell you the exact cards remaining. Sadly, the drugs burned out his brain far too early, so he is no longer with us.

  • Nobody!


  • Roberto Autran Nunes – Fortaleza/CE/Brazil (IQ Score: 192)

  • Echosin

    I xually hava questin. For u. Didja no dat einstein was murderer? He xually
    murdered famous people like walt disney, ludwig beethoven, mozart, gaga
    john f kennedy….. Hah! jus kidding. can u figure out my messag in this messag?
    dont get it? well, dont cum to me…. wich u cant cuz yep! Only geniuses can
    tell waht im sayn. waht waht waht…. ill tell u this tho, this iza gud list, and realy
    any1 can rite a list, so needa worry….. hahaha!!!
    dial 972-666-1234
    [email protected]

  • g

    one fail, im not here.

  • Scientist

    IQ has little to do with genius. There are geniuses with IQ’s as low as 120. Genius implies much more than IQ. Newton and Einstein were undoubtedly top 3 geniuses although their IQ was less than that of the current record holder (a “bouncer” with an IQ of 230 or so) who is not a genius at all.

  • Alex

    In my opinion no one beats da vinci. He is the definition of the world we speek the people who analises his work still finds something new. I also bow before tesla

  • Persie Maddie

    oh come on. The iq test was not used until the late 19th century. and you’re saying these are the “estimated” intelligence quotients of these people?!

    What a propaganda.

  • Roberto Autran Nunes (IQ 192)

    It’s said that a genius learns without studying, and knows without learning. That he is eloquent without preparation, exact without calculation, and profound without reflection.

  • Name

    What about Albert Einstein?

  • Shyla

    Why isn’t there ONE black person on this list??…. just asking. I know there has to be one or more in the top ten.

  • Tandaaza

    What about Muhammadi the prophet Is’t he agenius

  • aayushi09

    such a bad list:-( where is Issac newton???
    Check before you post>>>>>

  • aayushi09

    sorry d iq of marilyn vos savant is 228

    • aayushi09

      and where is stephen hawking???????????

  • Claymore

    Goethe! Man I did not see that coming even though he was one of my favorite authors.

  • Roberto Autran Nunes

    My IQ: 175

  • itsnobody

    IQs don’t measure genius and only measure how well you answer IQ-style questions.

    This list is terrible, it’s not a list of geniuses but rather people estimated to have high IQs.

    But the list is obviously wrong. There’s no way that Galileo or Da Vinci had IQs of 180 or higher.

    In order to estimate IQ you have to estimate how well someone would be able to answer the very most difficult IQ-style questions, so Da Vinci and Galileo would obviously not have high IQs. Their IQs realistically speaking would be around 120-160. We know that half of Da Vinci’s designs failed, demonstrating low IQ, we also know that Da Vinci tried to learn mathematics but didn’t really get far with it. If Da Vinci really did have a super-high IQ he would’ve obviously done some work as complex as Calculus, but in reality he didn’t do anything near as complex as that. As for Galileo, he was not much of mathematician or problem-solver either.

    But there are lots of low-IQ geniuses:
    – Julia Robinson: Had a tested IQ of 98, yet Julia Robinson was the main mathematician that solved Hilbert’s 10th problem
    – Richard Feynman: Had a tested IQ of 125, learned differential and integral calclus by the age of 15, invented Feynman diagrams, revolutionized QED
    – Henri Poincare: Supposedly failed an IQ test, but Poincare is usually ranked as one of the top 10 best mathematicians of all time.

    So we can clearly see that estimated IQs have nothing to do with genius, and that no one can really estimate IQ. The most accurate way to measure someone’s IQ is to actually give them an IQ test.

  • Nemke98


  • mark

    why albert einstein not include in the list??

  • Amanawit and bezawit

    the criterion is not clear and it is hard to accept the rank.

  • DSDS

    Garry Kasparov was smarter than Boby Fisher (IQ 190)
    And, where is Nikola Tesla, greatest Serbian scientist and maybe greatest in the world, a man who create 20 and 21 century? A man who changed the world and because we have TV’s, Computers, man who invent radio and AC current, a man who wanted to give the world free energy… and why he isn’t here?

  • DSDS

    Garry Kasparov has 190 IQ, i mean that

  • DSDS

    And Isaac Newton had around 190 IQ! Where s he? Where is Sids? Hawking? Einstein? Witten?

  • ries

    Not even close to being the top 10 greatest geniuses. Isaac Newton should be in there, and Leonardo da Vinci should be #1 (or possibly #2 with Newton at #1).

    Goethe couldn’t hold da Vinci’s jock strap.

  • Dr. I. N. Stein

    By far the people with the highest IQ’s are the ones who commit suicide. The earlier they do, the more intelligent they are.

  • oh i m just shocked no space for swami vivekanand

  • pissedatstupidity

    And everyone just happen to be european… This list is stupid anyway. People didn’t invent standardized tests or even thought of the concept of IQ till the 90’s. Get your facts straight.

  • Carl

    A list of geniuses based on IQ is very… well, lamentable, but I get the overall point.

    I believe the list should be named “highest IQs” or something else, particularly, I don’t see how having a high IQ makes you a genius, but since geniality is a subject with a wide variety of meanings, I couldn’t say it doesn’t make sense.

    My idea of genius is someone with original or exceptional progress in the areas of their interest, like art and science for instance.

    I don’t like the idea of “IQ” because it is very old and it doesn’t account for how our brain works with different areas for different tasks (and some areas might be more developed than others), the IQ only accounts for the speed in which the brain can process information, but does it explain how someone can be a music genius for example? Definitely not.

    Albert Einstein’s father thought he was retarded because of his low scores in school, later, Einstein turned into the genius we hear about so much.

    The list is very good though, just wanted to share ideas.

  • Jody Schmidt

    This list is mostly IQ based and minutely based on creativity:
    Newton, Einstein,

    IQ means ZERO without creativity.
    Marilyn Vos Savant? That has to be a red herring, an inside joke, a distractor. Even if Mozart’s IQ is 100 points lower than her’s, he is 1000x more of a genius than Ms. Savant could ever dream of being.

    Any top list of geniuses in western history (excluding the rest of the world for now just to narrow the focus and since I am ill-qualified to discuss much else) should read something like this. Anything else is not a list of ‘geniuses’ but something else, something LESS important (Note: no particular order here):

    1- Newton
    2- Shakespeare
    3- Homer
    4- Plato
    5- Rembrandt
    6- Van Gogh
    7- Beethoven
    8- Bach
    9- Kant
    10- Einstein

    Something like that.

    I bet Bobby Fisher has a higher IQ-test IQ than any of them, which further illustrates just how useless IQ is.
    And, BTW, I am not a resentful IQ-challenged person. I scored near perfectly on the GRE and LSAT and taught them at Princeton Review as a result for 3 years. They just mean nothing. Sorry. Imagination is the supreme faculty. Coleridge is right.

  • chetan

    there is no indian in this list how can it possible… i dont believe on this list

  • dan kind

    As Bobby prepared for the 1972 world championship he studied Spassky’s games totalling over 400; he wouild ask someone to open the big red book pick a game at random, tell him the date and oponent and he would recite every move-he memorized 14,000 moves

  • dan kind

    hey Jody Schmidt and Bobby would crush you in a chess

    • JS

      Ha! Yes, he would, easily. But Bobby Fisher would also crush Wagner, Picasso, Matisse, Eliot, cummings, Vermeer, Chopin, Swift, Michelangelo, Dante, Tolstoy, Conrad, Whitman, Darwin and Galileo at chess. And, that is precisely the problem. Having the intellect to beat anyone on the planet in chess does not equal genius. It equals having the intellect to beat anyone at chess and not much more than that.
      J.S. (a proven IQ test ‘genius’, but NOT a proven true Genius)

  • dan kind

    To DSDS : wrong dude; Kasparov was not at 190, and would never had defeated Bobby; Fischer was conceded by the Soviet chess machine as the original chess computer, and his performance in the Candidates leading up to the Spassky match when he won 21 straight games is unequalled in chess annals.
    Preparing for Spassky, Bobby studied the ‘bid-red book’ which had Boris’s games totalling some 400; he would ask someone to pick a game at random,tell him the date and opponent and he woiuld recite every move: he had memorized over 14,000 moves !!

  • Ethan

    Why are mathematicians and scientists included with playwrights, painters, and poets? IQ tests are flawed and only test on too specific of intelligence. Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton were the greatest of the scientific minds. Perhaps Picasso and Van Gogh were the greatest of the artists. Bach, Beethoven and Mozart greatest in music etc. People need to understand that there are many different kinds of intelligence. Excluding the greats of our kind and only selectively choosing the others and declaring them the “smartest” is a sacrilege and grossly inaccurate.

  • Fred that ate cheese

    hi, please eat the cheese!

  • the other Fred

    Albert Einstein rocks!!!

  • HI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Eat Einsteins —————-!

  • Freddy1

    Hi, no thanks HI!!!!!!

  • friedabhi

    its just bullshit

  • From a technical or inventing standpoint, How about Johann Gutenberg, inventor of the Printing Press

  • jhujhui

    I’m sure they are geniuses but I highly doubt the estimate of their IQ. IQ is an outdated way of measuring intelligence.

  • Edwarf John Chavez

    I am not a genius, wish I were. I have been given a special talent by our Lord, Jesus Christ. To communicte with Him and my brothers and He has given me thoughts in innovation in many areas. That is why I call my business, suggestive Innovations. I was wondering what the patterns of genius are in sleep. How do they spend there time on a daily basis? I am trying to sleep at about midnight there is never enought time to complete what I must in one day. I try to rest for about thirty minutes when I get tired then wake and continue until midnight. Then wake up early to begin my next day.

  • lowonprozac

    Hogwash. No Einstein is bad enough, but no Isaac Newton? Who comes up with these idiotic estimates?

  • Thushananth

    where is albert einstein and isaac newton…the great thinkers of the world who bought a complete change in mathematics and physics!

  • Lloyd

    There is definitely someone missing from this list, who was both incredibly intelligent, and who made numerous contributions to science. What about John von Neumann?
    Article Quotes:
    “made major contributions to a vast number of fields, including set theory, functional analysis, quantum mechanics, ergodic theory, geometry, fluid dynamics, economics, linear programming and game theory, computer science, numerical analysis, hydrodynamics, and statistics, as well as many other mathematical fields. He is generally regarded as one of the greatest mathematicians in modern history”
    “was a child prodigy in the areas of language, memorization, and mathematics. By the age of six, he could exchange jokes in Classical Greek, memorize telephone directories on sight, and display prodigious mental calculation abilities. As a 6 year old, he would astonish onlookers by instantly dividing two 8-digit numbers in his head, producing the answers to a decimal point. By the age of 8, he had attained mastery in calculus.”

  • I’m surprised that Nikola Tesla is not in here. Without him, we would be in a world of “you know what”

  • Jot

    Von neumann (179, measured in 1950, feynman, 121), ramanujan, newton, pascal, gauss, euler, ed witten, t tao, tesla, archimedes – smart iq club

  • Mike118

    Well what can you say to this list it omits all of the classic Greeks, Persian and oriental greats along with modern geniuses who thought outside the box, people whose intellectual observations theories led humanity science astrophysics technology in directions unimaginable to everyone else of their generations.

  • Kingsley

    wheres kanye west on this list?

    • Jody Schmidt

      It’s crazy how you can go from being Joe Blow
      To everybody on your dick, no homos!

  • Mark Alexander

    This list is farcical.
    It is totaly bizare, culturally biased and nonrepresntative,

    second, an iq past a certan level mean nothing
    third, iq has no bearing on creativity, compostion and Genius.

    Genius is Genesis

  • rahimi

    may be……………..

  • MIE


  • Greg

    After reading this, it’s hard to imagine that Imhotep (circa 2650-2600 BC) was not included in a list regarding the ten greatest geniuses in history. It is a well known fact that he was considered to be the first architect, engineer and physician in early history, some have even considered him to have been the world’s first multi-genius. Imhotep is credited with the design and construction of the Step Pyramid of Sakkara, an engineering feat that required a superb knowledge of Right Triangle Trigonometry. Imhotep built this pyramid entirely out of limestone, which is not the best quality of stone, yet it remained for more than 4,700 years. That definitely sounds like the work of a genius to me….and I haven’t even discussed his work as a physician.


    knowledge is power ,is to know somthink is to improve your life with its fruit,to see the light,to see in colour instead of black and white,the brain can be discoverd to be able to do many things people think we can’t do,perhaps we had forgottern over time passing,the future is already here imbrace it and make it your own loop hole to a new way of world order ,DONT LET TV SHOWS RUN YOUR LIFE,MOST PEOPLE TRY TO BE NORMAL , BUT THEY SEEM TO SLIP AWAY INTO FANTASY BASED KNOWLEDGE WHICH COMES FROM TV AND ADVERTISING ON TV IS A DOWNER MOST STRESSING ON YOUR GROWING BRAIN AND KNOWLEDGE TREE. read more BOOKS and inhance yor memory!!!!!!!!!!

  • Instead of a list of the Top Ten Geniuses, I would like to see a Top Ten List of famous savants !!

  • fakelist

    this list is bullshit
    Kim Ung-Yong? Stephen Hawking?
    Napoleon? Caesar?

  • Statistics

    The average IQ is 100. The standard deviation is 15. Therefore, the probability of someone having an IQ 7 standard standard deviations above the mean or higher (>205) is 1.28×10^ -12. So assuming a population of 7 billion, 8.96×10^-3 people (read: less than one person) would have that IQ or higher. The chance of having 2 people with 205 or higher at the same time would be the square of that number. Absolutely impossible.

  • Freedom

    Why are all the intellectuals white? European? Mostly men?

  • Ivy

    What about William James Siddis? His IQ was estimated to be between 250 an d300.

  • kaush

    where is tesla

  • William Rogers

    Unless this is meant as humor it is sad; so incomparably sad. I.G. has absolutely, unequivicably nothing to do with genious. You’re playing somekind of silly college stukdent center game right?

  • Nic lyon

    IQ is an out dated mesurement of intellagence, an contrary to its indevor is better at showing what somone knows not there potencial for learning, and as the questions are of a rounded knoledge bais, it often fails to show when a person accells in a specific area of knowledge, and it also groups areas of knoledge into brod catagories, so it would put me at a low language skill set when in actuality, I have an average reading level, below average spelling level, and above average vicabulary… IQ is a horably inaccurate test of intellagence. I’ve said my peace.

  • Saif

    So non of them is Muslim , interesting

  • aditya

    where is chanakya? he was the greatest genius of all time

  • enstein

    this is absolutely ridiculous , firstly the IQ test is not a scientific way measuring a persons’s intelligence . secondly the IQ test was created in the early 20th century how would u know the IQ test of Leibniz for example he lived in the 17th century !!! ur sources are from Wikipedia , come on listverse really get ur facts straight!

  • dan kind

    Hi again Jody: I agree, Imagination may be the best measure; in keeping with the Fischer theme, Bobby was once asked:” If you ever played a game with GOD, who wins? -he reluctantly replied:I would probably lose, but almost immediately, rescinded and said, “naw, it would be a draw”.

  • dan kind

    jody: based on your imminent qualifications, you should at least spell his name correctly: Bobby Fischer

    • Jody Schmidt


  • Rebecca Hawley

    I am disappointed you did not include Mozart on this list. His musical abilities, demonstrated at the unbelievable age of two and completely manifest by the age of six show him to be one of the most brilliant, if not THE most brilliant people who ever lived. Also there is Bach. His study and understanding of the fugue is unparalleled and even today cannot be duplicated. Shame on you for leaving out musicians. Rethink your position – musicians are after all the best practical mathemeticians.

  • @ Rebecca. I entirely am in 100% agreement with you. I have often wondered if Mozart had hung in there for another 20 years what his musical output would have been. The movie “Amadeus” was a great movie, but to very much “Hollywoodized”. Salieri did not kill Mozart by poisoning in fact Salieri looked to Mozart as a musician from the Gods. The truth as to who finished his “Requiem” K.626, was done by a student of Mozart named Franz Sussmyr. A lot of that movie is apocryphal at best. Bach is simple. Though my favorite composer will always be Beethoven (based on his transcending the symphony, the String Quartet and the Piano Concerto as well as its Sonatas), I do concede to the fact that Bach was the greatest composer who ever lived. Why, you may ask ? Two words……..Mathematical perfection. Their is a list on here that is named “7 Classical Musical Duets of all time” Beethoven was in 3 of the mentioned and Bach was in one of them. You’ll have fun reading them

  • dan kind

    Mozart and musical abilities, then what about John Lennon? the Beatles revolutionized not only music, but dress, culture, etc but I would not necessarily label them generally as genius

    • Jody Schmidt

      Unfortunately, popular music struggles to gain the level of academic and critical acclaim given to classical, modern classical and experimental classical music. Recently, a Kraftwerk exhibit was at the MOMA, and it represents the first time ever that popular music has every had such an honor.
      People probably would have thought The Beatles, 70s Punk at its outset or maybe the highpoint of rap would have already been given such honors, but no deal.
      I think Paul McCartney is one of the best songwriters ever, his melodies being comparable to Mozart’s, though the overall compositions being much simpler and more like popular folk songs than symphonies, operas, sonatas or concertos.
      But, I still feel the separation between the true avant garde and cultural greatness as opposed to popular music and fashion, which I somehow feel is a step lower for good reason.
      Cool to participate here!

  • Remy

    where is Albert Einstain or Sir Isaac Newton ?

  • petet2112

    I just read a few days ago that the second-coming of Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield had an IQ of 163 !!!

  • inhibrory


  • john

    who says?

  • MorganGray

    Maybe I’m missing something here… How are they able to measure the IQ of people who died before IQ tests were invented? Or is this a case of guesswork?

    … or time travel?

  • Robert Maxwell West

    J.S. Bach?

  • Ahmed Salah

    ???? ?? ?????? ??? ????

  • Jack Jack

    Nikola Tesla?

  • Alice


  • Sai Hemanth

    Was IQ questions asked even during da vinci’s time?

  • Scienceorc

    Needs more Tesla

  • petet2112

    If its of any consolation, Jayne Mansfield “the next” Marilyn Monroe had an IQ between 160-165 !!

  • jeppe

    Newton, Tesla, Turing….and so on
    And then Bobby Fischer!!!
    This must be a joke.

  • Reblogged this on ibeamarioh and commented:

  • Phil

    This is completely false by all standards. The IQ “test” was not developed until after the majority of these individuals lives had expired. Also, the IQ test is a eugenics examination and has very little to do with true inelegance, it is porportinate to luck, reasoning and/or common sense and the technique of “process of elimination”. I believe a true “IQ” or measure of intelligence would require a whole new standard. Perhaps highly long process that incorporates psychological stresses that produce positive or negative results. I reserve the ideology that to measure ones “intel” each and every aspect of a humans choices need to be evaluated. Over all, the “IQ” test needs a massive scientific overhaul in the worse way.. I am by no means a smart person and yet without even effort I can produce a 145+ score, in some cases Ive scored above 180… That in and of itself gives me doubt that these standards are legitimate too! The mind is so versatile and I believe it too operates at different levels depending on life circumstances. There is much to debate about .. just a few points to think about

  • Zeljko

    You are missing one, greatest mind of all…

    Nikola Tesla

  • Name

    What about William James Sidis?

    He had an estimated IQ of 250 to 300…

  • petet2112

    @ name. You’re not kidding about this William James Sidis person with having an IQ of 250-300. I looked him up on the Wikipedia and was astounded by what I read about him. Entered Harvard at age 11 and graduated at 16. Was a multi-linquist who could speak nine different languages by the age of 8 and also created a language that he made. As an adult, he could speak 40 languages complete with dialect. Was one of the world’s leader’s at Euclidean Geometry and taught it at Harvard. As an 18 month old toddler could read the New York Times Newspaper everyday. His father had a PhD and his mother had an M.D. He died young of a cerebral hemmorage in 1944 at the age of 46 the same way in which his father had died.

  • jesse

    youre a dink. there are plenty of people in pure numbers with an IQ of 180 who didn’t have the creativity or personality or drive or exposure or even the luck to make a huge historical impact. leaving einstein and newton off an list entirely invalidates it in my opinion. you dont just put women on the list to include women, how about mm curie who actually contributed greatly

  • justina

    Oh lord, please make sure we include all minorities cultures and disciplines. lets get the genius of underwater basket weaving. lets include a bright woman, not madame curie, just to include a woman. ugh! this is about genius and lasting impact not just IQ, in pure numbers there are not a few people with a 180 IQ

  • blackvenom8

    where is albert einstein???

  • Wanya Orson O’neil Simpson

    IQ tests have changed drastically over the past years. This brings us to the questioning of the credibility of these IQ scores. Despite this, IQ scores do not truly prove a persons true intelligence rating. Thank you.

  • S


  • morgan378

    “savant” is a French word: sa·vant (s-vänt) n. 1. A learned person; a scholar. 2. An idiot savant. [French, learned, savant, from Old French, present participle of savoir, to know.

    Marilyn vos Savant took the name on/of her own accord. There’s been controversy over her claims and she’s been removed from the Guinness Book of World Records for highest IQ without replacement in the category. Mostly because there are different ways/tests of measuring IQ, intelligence, savantism, savvy, recall, depth of memory, etc., with IQ having been downgraded as an indication of/in future disciplines which may be desirable later in life. Kaufman-ABC, WPPSI, WAIS to the more accepted Stanford-Binet and “golds standard” Wechsler Series – IQ is now more a “guide” than prognostication of actual mental abilities outside of maturity, logical analysis because of the “leaps of faith” that are now seen as required to advance theory and practice in real completion in solving a problem – and actual application of that answer in real world situations – with salient acuity that many species show to some degree we now understand to be outside of humans alone.

  • maximus

    Look….first of all Einstien’s iq is estimated…not factual…..who knows what his true iq would have been had he been tested. Also, he was considered one of the greatest minds because of his theories in physics and astronomy…..he was and still is one of the most elite minds in that field. It is safe to say that Einstein had an iq of 200 or greater in the field of physics and astronomy…there are people with iq’s over 160 who cannot even come close to his brilliance in those two fields…..his overal iq…..who knows…he was never test…but in that particular dicipline there is no doubt that his iq was not 160 but at least 200 or better.

  • Jostein

    How do Einstein & Newton not make the list?

  • mistory

    wheres albert einstein

  • T.B.

    Goethe was the last true polymath in the Western tradition. He succeeded in many fields; all of the other geniuses in this list succeeded in far fewer.

  • Beedle

    So I am guessing that the absence of William Shakespeare from this list is because you doubt his authorship for all the work accredited to him. Still, I expected him to be near, or at, the top of the list. Well, perhaps it is due to using Wikipedia as your source of info ;-)

  • meghna


  • meghna

    good one

  • Creamyturnip

    I this some kind of sick joke? Where’s Nikola Tesla? Although he isn’t as commonly renown as others on the list, such as Da Vinci, the records of his abilities and talents, such as remembering incomprehensibly complicated schematics without drawing them at all, the logical reasoning which composed his methods and his unfathomably complex equations which he did in his head, as if they were simple addition are reasons which give him far more credibility than anyone else to be at the top of this list. This list is ridiculous, both Newton and Beethoven merited far higher IQ’s than Madame De Stael and there is no reason for poets and playwrights to be there at all. IQ is entirely composed of logical thought patterns and the speed at which these thought patterns are processed, this list does not do that definition justice.

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