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Top 20 Smartest Individuals to Have Ever Lived


The world as we know it today has achieved all that it has been able to achieve largely because of the outsized contributions of brilliant and ingenious minds that lay the foundation long before our time. Individuals emerged from different parts of the world and showcased profound understanding of the dynamics of how the world works.

Making their timeless contributions to the evolution of humanity and how it can effectively exist on earth, these individuals played major roles in various fields and committed themselves to positively impact on the livelihoods of people not only to their own time but to the generations to come. Throughout their lifespans, their noble work set the pace for revolutionary changes to diverse sectors of life including; science, art and fashion, engineering, architecture and nature, just but to mention a few.

Below is a list of 20 of the smartest individuals to have ever lived:

Leonardo Da Vinci.

Arguably the most impactful Multi-talented individual on our list is the legendary Italian, Leonardo Da Vinci. His work still widely admired by millions across the planet, to date. The Mona Lisa portrait being one of his profoundly famous paintings, showcased but one of his many impressive skills. With an IQ score ranging from 180 to 220 by different standards, Leonardo was proficient in Art, Music, Architecture, Mathematics, engineering, geology and writing. These are attributes fit for an individual considered as one of the smartest people to have ever lived.

Johann Goethe

Recognized as one of the greatest German Polymaths to date, his work is still referred to in todays world. Johann Goethe was known for founding the science of human chemistry as well as coming up with the earliest known theories of evolution. It is no surprise that his work captured the attention of legendary individuals like Albert Einstein who famously referred to him as the last man in the world to know everything, as he had an estimated IQ score ranging from 210 to 225.

Albert Einstein

You can deservedly get recognized as one of the smartest individuals on earth if you created an equation globally adopted for problem solving purposes. Albert Einstein did exactly that. The German is famously known for his mass-energy equivalence formula E=?mc?^2. Boasting an impressive IQ score ranging from 205 to 225, his work as a theoretical physicist and philosopher of science, still offers crucial reference points for today’s studies.

Sir Isaac Newton

Science in the 17th century was privileged by the contributions of Sir Isaac Newton’s work during this time. His universal principles of gravity proved to be ground-breaking and effectively paved the way for revolutionary scientific studies and findings. The English physicist and mathematician had an estimated IQ ranging from 190 to 200

William Shakespeare

Idolized in the literary fields across the world, William Shakespeare was known for his writing and dramatist skills. With an estimated IQ score of 210, he was a celebrated English actor and playwriter whose work has been published and still graces todays entertainment industry.

James Maxwell

His particular interests significantly played a role in the science of quantum theory. The Scotland-born mathematical physicist earned his place in history for his elaborate formulation of the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation. An IQ score ranging from 190 to 205, James Maxwell as well-earned respect for his work, receiving admiration from far and wide.

Sir Francis Galton

Related to the legendary Charles Darwin, Sir Francis Galton had an interest in the inner workings of humanity. He pursued research work focusing on eugenics and human intelligence. He as well studied mathematics at the university of Cambridge, which further enhanced his skills. He had an estimated IQ score of 200.

Marie Curie

The first woman to win the highly coveted Nobel Prize, and doing so twice as a physicist developed the theory of radioactivity while as well discovering two elements, polonium and radium. She had an estimated IQ score ranging from 180-200 and hailed from Poland.

William Sidis

He was as impressively gifted as a kid just as he was an intellectual far ahead of his age. His IQ score was estimated to range from between 200 to 300. He was able to read the New York Times and type letters on a typewriter in both the languages of English and Kiswahili, by an astounding age of just 2 years of age. He was allowed into Harvard by the age of just 11. His life story was the inspiration behind the film, Good Will Hunting.

Gottfried Leibniz

Attributed for the invention of calculus, Gottfried Leibniz was known for his infamous opinion that we lived in the best possible Universe that God could have created. The German polymath, philosopher and mathematician had an estimated IQ score ranging from 182 to 205.

Nikola Tesla

The name Tesla is famously recognized worldwide. He was a futuristic Serbian-born inventor responsible for a lot of the technology in service today including; wireless transmission of energy, Tesla oil, AC electricity and even predicting the emergence of the smartphone. His IQ score is estimated to be at 195.

Thomas Young

His work greatly contributed to the endeavors of human anatomy during his time. He particularly made crucial optic discoveries that led to the development of optical solutions, including the findings that determined how the lens of the human eye conveniently adjusts to focus on objects at different distances. His IQ score was estimated to range from 185 to 200.

Carl Gauss

A perfectionist hailing from Germany who would not publish any of his work until all the details were absolutely up to his highly regarded standard. With an impressive estimated IQ ranging from 250 to 300, this German mathematician left his mark in the vast fields of algebra, number theory, statistics and analysis.

Galileo Galilei

Credited for monumental discoveries that hugely contributed to astronomy, Galileo Galilei employed his skills as a natural philosopher, astronomer and mathematician to determine findings including how the Planet Venus goes through phases as just as the moon as well does and that the Planet Jupiter has four moons orbiting it. He had an estimated IQ score ranging from 180 to 200.

Leonhard Euler

His intellectual capabilities were unmatched in his time. Profoundly succeeding academically through an education received in Basel, Euler played his part in the founding of pure mathematics while further developing the study of integral calculus. His estimated IQ score ranged from 180 to 200.

Francois Marie Arouet

He was widely known as Voltaire, he effectively expressed his practice through philosophical writing, satire as well as his outright criticism of France’s noblemen. Established writers like Descartes were often victims of his writing as he never shied away from defending the distinction between natural science and philosophy. His IQ score was estimated at between !90 and 200

Ettore Majorana

Another Italian with admirable accomplishments in his life-time. Majoring in theoretical physics, he studied neutrino masses and electrically neutral subatomic particles that are created in nuclear reactions. Named after him are the Majorana equation and the Majorana fermions, while the Majorana prize for theoretical physics was established in his honor in 2006. His IQ score was estimated to range from 183 to 200.

Emmanuel Swedenborg

He was one of the great scientists of his time to embrace the concept of spirituality and natural science. Renowned for his publication, Heaven and Hell, Swedenborg identified dreams and visions as the sources of his inspiration as God and Christ visited him there. His IQ score ranged from 165 to 210

Edith Stern

She was brought up to purposefully succeed in this world. with her father undeterred in his determination to make his lovely daughter the perfect model of a human being, she quickly realized insurmountable success as she joined college by the age of 12 and was effectively teaching college-level mathematics at the teenage age of just 15. Edith Stern has an IQ score of 203.

John Stuart Mill

He had an estimated IQ score ranging from 180 to 200 and he used his understanding of political philosophy to push his passionate agenda regarding liberty. He authored an essay in 1859, On Liberty, arguing that Liberty is a fundamental human right. He as well criticized ultimate state control and championed for utilitarianism.


They came to this world and used their exemplary intellects to make generational differences. Their respective practices and studies remain critical to both the present-day global affairs as well as those of the future. They have deservedly earned a permanent place in the world’s history books as 20 of the smartest individuals to have ever lived.

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