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The 10 Most Intelligent US Presidents, Ranked By IQ

Just how intelligent do you need to be to assume the role of President of the United States? That’s debatable. Being the Commander in Chief requires a rare blend of intellect and acumen, reasoning and rational thinking, insight and intuition, the likes of which probably aren’t found in any other position in the world.

Even though it’s not a requirement, most presidents have a higher-than-average IQ; between 90 and 110 is considered an average IQ score. Read on for a list of the top ten highest presidential IQs, according to…

Photo: Collection

10. Abraham Lincoln | IQ: 148

An exceptionally skilled speaker famous for the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln was the only president to have secured a patent. He invented a device to free steamboats that had run aground.

9. Franklin D. Roosevelt | IQ: 150.5

Franklin Roosevelt received accolades from Harvard and Columbia University. He went on to become the 32nd president of the United States, leading the U.S. through the Great Depression and the second World War.

Photo: Press

8. John F. Kennedy | IQ: 150.8

JFK graduated from Harvard in 1940, was awarded a Purple Heart in WWII, and held seats in both the House of Representatives and the Senate before being elected 35th president in 1961. In addition, he won a Pulitzer Prize for volume of short biographies entitled Profiles in Courage.

Photo: Press

7. Theodore Roosevelt | IQ: 153

Having attended both Harvard and Columbia Law Schools, Roosevelt later earned the moniker “the father of the U.S. Navy” for his work building and strengthening this branch of the service.

Photo: of Congress

6. Woodrow Wilson | IQ: 155.2

The 28th president of the United States helped lead the U.S. through World War I. He studied at the University of Virginia, Princeton, and Johns Hopkins and worked as a professor before pursuing a chair in the Oval Office.

Photo: Press

5. Jimmy Carter | IQ: 156

As the 39th American President, Carter established the United States Department of Energy and the United States Department of Education. In later years, he became a professor, created the Carter Center to advance human rights, and was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Photo: Kenneth C. Zirkel

4. Bill Clinton | IQ: 159

Bill Clinton, the former Arkansas governor and 42nd president of the United States, attended Georgetown. It was here that he won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford before continuing to Yale, where he earned his law degree.

Photo: Gallery of Art

 3. James Madison | IQ: 160

Known as the Father of the Constitution, Madison helped pen the Bill of Rights and the Monroe Doctrine before he was elected the fifth American President. He also helped establish the Democrat-Republican Party alongside President Thomas Jefferson.

Photo: Gallery of Art

2. Thomas Jefferson | IQ: 168

Jefferson not only authored the Declaration of Independence but also facilitated the Louisiana purchase, abolished the insidious slave trade, and founded the University of Virginia.


 1. John Quincy Adams | IQ: 175

The sixth president of the United States traveled and studied around the globe, spoke seven languages fluently, and became a lawyer without ever completing law school. Suffice to say, the man was no dummy.