Who Has the Highest IQ in American History?

The Concept of IQ

Intelligence quotient or IQ is a measure of one’s cognitive abilities, including reasoning, problem-solving, and abstract thinking. It was first devised by French psychologist Alfred Binet in 1905. The standard IQ tests are designed to measure an individual’s mental age compared to their chronological age.

IQ Scores and Classification

The average IQ score is 100, with a standard deviation of 15. According to the classification system, individuals with an IQ score between 70 and 130 fall into the normal range. Those with scores below or above this range are considered intellectually challenged or gifted, respectively.

The Highest Recorded IQ Score

The highest recorded IQ score belongs to Marilyn vos Savant, who scored an incredible 228 on the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale when she was just ten years old. She was born in Missouri in 1946 and gained national recognition for her exceptional intelligence early on.

Other High Scorers

William James Sidis is another name that often comes up in discussions about high IQ scores. He was born in New York City in 1898 and had an estimated IQ score between 250-300. He was a child prodigy who could read multiple languages by age two and enrolled at Harvard University at age eleven.

Another notable mention goes to Terence Tao, born in Adelaide, Australia in 1975. He has an estimated IQ score of around 230-240 and is known for his work in mathematics research.


There have been many individuals throughout history who have demonstrated exceptional intelligence and high scores on standardized IQ tests. While it’s impossible to say definitively who has the highest overall intelligence as there are many factors that contribute to this trait, these individuals have certainly left their mark on history.