The President of the United States is supposed to be a brilliant leader, evaluator, diplomat, and economist. But, are the presidents really all that smart? Here are your favorite presidents’ IQs based on a variety of studies that have been conducted over the years. These studies make estimates on a number of factors including previously published assessments of IQ as well as intellectual brilliance and openness to experience, both believed to be important to intelligence.
Calvin Coolidge first started out of a lawyer in Massachusetts and became the governor of the state. Coolidge was a quiet man, and he was also one of the smartest people who set foot in the White House.
Someone visiting the White House bet Coolidge he could make Coolidge say more than two words. Coolidge simply responded to the better, “You Lose.” Even though many people thought Coolidge was stupid because he was quiet, he was actually just soft-spoken and very thoughtful. His IQ is estimated to have been a perfect 130, meaning he wasn’t at genius level, but he was almost there.
Ronald Reagan is known famously for being the poster child and president for the Republican party. His presidency focused heavily on his brain child, which was labeled “Reaganomics.” His economic policy focused on a tax rate reduction, control of money supply, and reduction in government spending. He also ended the Cold War with Russia and tore down the Berlin Wall to eliminate the USSR.
Ronald Reagan is one of the most well-loved presidents in the modern era and had one of the highest approval ratings. At the end of his administration, Ronald Reagan’s approval rating was a shocking sixty-eight percent, which was the same as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Bill Clinton. Well, who wouldn’t like the guy who has a 131.9 IQ?
Richard Nixon had many devoted fans, but was also one of the most disliked presidents of all time. Richard Nixon is best remembered for his involvement in the Watergate scandal, when he and other Republicans hacked into the Democratic headquarters located at the Watergate hotel in Washington D.C.
Nixon focused heavily on trying to end the space race in the 1970s which was part of the heavily intense time called the Cold War. The Space Race was an attempt by the United States to reach the moon first and to venture out into space before the Russians. Nixon made it his mission to limit funding for the Space Administration, even though his IQ was a high 132.6.
George W. Bush
The Yale-educated man was the second son to become the American president after his father, with the first having been John Quincy Adams. Bush, the 43rd president, served from January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009. He holds the interesting distinction of ranking among the most popular and the most unpopular of all the U.S. presidents in history.
Bush’s IQ is likely somewhere around 139, according to an analysis of factors.
George Washington was the first president of the United States and is known today for being an amazing battle strategist. He is credited with the thought behind the Battle of Yorktown and with the win of the American Revolution. But, what was his IQ?
When it comes to IQs, there are some numbers which you should know. Anything above 140 is considered a genius, while anything between 120 and 140 is said to belong to a person with superior knowledge. Washington’s IQ is said to have fallen at around 140, based on historical views, meaning he was quite the smarty.
Some people loved Lyndon Johnson and some people absolutely despised Lyndon Johnson, but that’s just how the 1960s were. Johnson was the president in power during the tumultuous Vietnam war and escalated the United State’s involvement. The Vietnam War is still a sore spot for many Americans who have polarizing views on the subject.
Lyndon B. Johnson, or LBJ, assumed the role of president after JFK’s tragic death. LBJ was in favor of a law-and-order type of view on crime. Some experts have estimated Johnson’s IQ to be somewhere right around 140.
Abraham Lincoln is one of the most well thought of and respected presidents. He is considered the ultimate abolitionist and the reason for the end of slavery. Abraham Lincoln’s free thinking and revolutionary ideas proved he had some smarts about him.
Abraham Lincoln’s intelligence is not only proven by what he did in his presidency but also his capabilities to fight for what he wants. Abraham Lincoln failed the bar exam and even worked as a boat man before landing a law job. Lincoln was shot too soon before proving what he could do with his 140 IQ level.
George H. W. Bush
The late father of George W. Bush made quite a name for himself and the rest of the new and reformed Republican party. Bush Sr. and his administration made a deficit in the United State’s economy by increasing taxes for the working class. This went against Republican values, and was a huge loss for Bush.
The economy under Bush went into a growing recession which prompted voters to vote for Bill Clinton in the 1992 election. Even though Bush’s IQ was allegedly around 143, it didn’t help his presidency.
Theodore Roosevelt served as the 26th president of the United States and is still remembered for his wise words and sayings. Teddy Roosevelt is known for breaking up the trusts and monopolies of the railroad companies to help working-class citizens. He is also recognized for perfecting and preserving thousands of acres of land for national parks around the country.
Theodore Roosevelt was a president who lived for and helped the average American. He is known for creating more economic stability among the working class. Historians credit Roosevelt with getting rid of corruption in the economy and is known for his high IQ of 143.
Donald Trump is the current president of the United States. The former businessman, real estate mogul, and television personality was sworn into office on January 20, 2017. As with most leaders, his presidency has been marked by controversy.
He is (to date) the oldest first-term U.S. president and also is the first without any prior military or government service. Donald Trump’s IQ is said to be around 145, according to some estimates.
Andrew Johnson, the 17th president of the United States, served from 1865 to 1869. He was vice president at the time of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
Andrew Jackson was born poor and he had always thought of the government as being corrupt. This is why one of his policies was an investigation into the corruption of the government and the “witch hunt” of Cabinet offices and departments. His estimated IQ is a high number — 145.
FDR, or Franklin Delano Roosevelt, is considered the genius behind modern economics and the recreation of the American economy after the Great Depression. FDR’s biggest claim to fame is his New Deal, which created public jobs, like the Empire State Building and Tennessee Valley Authority to give working-class Americans jobs. FDR also repealed prohibition, which many can thank him for!
This 32nd president of the United States supposedly had an IQ of around 150.
Barack Obama served as the 44th president from 2009 to 2017 and was the first-ever African American to hold the office. Born and raised in Hawaii, Obama is the son of parents hailing from Kenya and Kansas.
After leaving office in 2017, Obama retired although he and his wife Michelle continue to reside in Washington, D.C. It has been stated that the Harvard-educated Obama has an IQ of around 155.
John Adams was the second president of the United States, but he is known more for his participation in the creation of the Declaration of Independence. As a representative from Boston, John Adams proposed the thought of independence to the Continental Congress and he even created the Declaration committee, including Thomas Jefferson.
Before the American Revolution, John Adams was one of the most successful lawyers in Boston, defending both patriots and the British. His knowledge of law was the basis for many of the details in the Declaration of Independence. His IQ is thought to have been around 155, which is above genius level.
Many people believe that 39th president Jimmy Carter did more for the United States after he left the office. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the Carter Center.
The Carter Center was created in 1982 by Jimmy Carter and is an organization that tries to advance human rights and alleviate human suffering. The Carter Center is also very involved in trying to help grow crops in malnutritioned areas of Africa. Carter is said to have an impressive IQ near 157.
The 42nd president of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001, Bill Clinton is estimated to have an IQ around 159. Prior to becoming president, Clinton was the governor and attorney general of Arkansas.
Although his presidency was marked by controversy, Clinton is remembered for signing the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, and also for leading a policy of fiscal conservatism that helped to reduce the deficit.
John F. Kennedy
There’s a reason why many people called the beginning of John F. Kennedy’s administration “Camelot.” John F. Kennedy was the voice of the new and young generation during his time in office. Kenedy’s contributions to the White House and the United States include limiting tension between the United States and the Communist countries while avoiding what seemed like nuclear war.
JFK’s IQ was said to be pretty high up there at around 160.
Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, was a bonafide genius. Not only was he the main writer for the Declaration of Independence, but he was also an architect and a musician, with a brain that was filled with an impressive amount of knowledge.
Thomas Jefferson attended the College of William and Mary and was involved in the world’s first fraternity. Jefferson’s IQ is said to have been around 160.
Even though Alexander Hamilton was not a president, he was definitely one of the founding fathers. Alexander Hamilton is considered to have been George Washington’s right-hand man during the American Revolution and is the founder of American economics. We couldn’t even have a presidency without Alexander Hamilton.
Alexander Hamilton was the creator of the federal bank and our modern-day economic system. Not only did he create state funding, but he also created the economy which makes it’s possible for our checks and balances system. Alexander Hamilton also wrote the Federalist Papers, which helped ratify the American Constitution and Political parties. He was said to have an IQ between 150 and 160!
John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams served as the sixth president of the United States from 1825 to 1829. In addition to this lofty office, he was Secretary of State, an ambassador, and a member of the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives.
The son of the second U.S. president, John Adams, his IQ is estimated to have been an astonishing 175. Fun fact about this super smart president: for a few weeks he kept a pet alligator in a tub in the White House.