32 Most Intelligent Presidents of the United States

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be President? Obviously having some smarts is top of the list, but how smart? Intelligent quotient (IQ) testing was developed in the early 1900s to assess and measure a person’s level of “intelligence”. IQ tests vary on what they measure. Results can also change with age and over a person’s lifetime. However, generally speaking, the higher your IQ is, the more you are deemed capable and competent!

In 2006, Dean Simonton of the University of California published the results of a study estimating the IQs of previous Presidents of the United States. We’ve included some of these here in our list of the most intelligent presidents. We’ve also included the two most recent presidents, along with their educational and professional backgrounds that hint at having high IQs.

1. John Adams


John Adams, 2nd President of the United States, served from 1797-1801. Adams had an estimated IQ of 155. His son, John Quincy Adams, the 6th President of the United States, had an estimated IQ of 175. Both father and son received their education at Harvard and practiced as lawyers. John Quincy Adams became affiliated with various political parties during his career, spoke several languages and was an avid journal keeper.