The 5 Presidents with the Highest IQ Scores

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Well, this oughta get a whole lot of people arguing due to the current political climate in this country, but what the heck! Let’s do it anyway!

A researcher and psychologist from the University of California, Davis named Dean Simonton put together a list of what he estimates IQs of the American presidents to be after the age of 18 – although, to be clear, the research was done in 2006 and only extends from George Washington to George W. Bush.

Simonton took into account intellectual brilliance and openness to establish his estimates. Let’s take a look at the results!

1. John Quincy Adams

6 John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) was the sixth American president and, according to Dean Simonton’s research, had an IQ of 175. Adams was a Harvard graduate, studied all over the world, and spoke seven languages.

2. Thomas Jefferson

Biography of Thomas Jefferson (Third President 1801-1809)

Jefferson (1743-1826) was a Founding Father and the third president of the United States. Simonton places his IQ at 160 – and, oh right, he helped write a little document called the Declaration of Independence.

3. James Madison

4 James Madison

James Madison (1751-1836) was another brilliant Founding Father, and he had an estimated IQ of 160. Madison, called the “Father of the Constitution,” helped write the Bill of Rights.

4. John F. Kennedy


JFK (1917-1963) graduated from Harvard in 1940, was a war hero during World War II, and became the second-youngest president in U.S. history. He also had an IQ of 159.8. Not too bad…

5. Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton

Say what you want about Bill Clinton (1946- ), he’s a very smart guy. Clinton served two terms as the 42nd American president and he sports an IQ of 159. He studied at Georgetown and Yale.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

6. Jimmy Carter

No Known Restrictions: President Jimmy Carter and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat by Marion S. Trikosko, 1977 (LOC)

7. Woodrow Wilson

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8. John Adams

2 John Adams

9. Teddy Roosevelt

TR: гнездование куклы (nesting dolls)

10. James Garfield

james garfield 1

Now, we know you have some opinions about this. Let us know in the comments!