Who Was the Brightest U.S. President of All Time?

Professor Dean Simonton, a psychologist from the University of California, Davis, set out to determine who was the brightest president of all time. He collected anecdotal evidence and examined biological factors before finally creating a list ranking presidents by IQ. He decided that all presidents were extremely brilliant people who easily surpassed the U.S. average of 98, but who do you think was the smartest one?

Who Was the Brightest President of All Time?

Professor Simonton says that the brightest president of all time was John Quincy Adams, who was president between 1825 and 1829. The sixth president was fluent in Dutch, German, French and English. He was also a Harvard University graduate. The professor believes that Adams’ IQ was 175. President Adams died in 1848, and the IQ test was not invented until 1905, so the world will never know for sure.

Ranking the Presidents by IQ

  1. James Madison
  2. Thomas Jefferson
  3. John F. Kennedy
  4. William J. Clinton
  5. James Carter
  6. Woodrow Wilson
  7. John Adams
  8. Theodore Roosevelt
  9. James Garfield
  10. Chester A. Arthur
  11. Franklin D. Roosevelt
  12. Abraham Lincoln
  13. Millard Fillmore
  14. John Tyler
  15. Franklin Pierce
  16. Rutherford B. Hayes
  17. William Henry Harrison
  18. Martin Van Buren
  19. Benjamin Harrison
  20. Dwight D. Eisenhower
  21. Andrew Jackson
  22. Grover Cleveland
  23. James K. Polk
  24. William McKinley
  25. George H.W. Bush
  26. Richard Nixon
  27. Barack Obama
  28. Ronald Regan
  29. Herbert Hoover
  30. Calvin Coolidge
  31. Lyndon B. Johnson
  32. Gerald Ford
  33. George Washington
  34. Warren G. Harding
  35. Harry S. Truman
  36. Zachary Taylor
  37. Andrew Johnson
  38. James Buchanan
  39. William Howard Taft
  40. James Monroe
  41. George W. Bush
  42. Ulysses S. Grant