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US Presidents Ranked by IQ and it’s Not Even Close

If you’re familiar with US history or politics, you’ve likely heard plenty of debates about the best and worst presidents. But what about the smartest? Is it possible to objectively measure the intellectual horsepower of America’s past leaders and compare them to each other? Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to attempt in this video – by ranking US presidents according to their IQ.

Now, before we dive in, it’s worth acknowledging that IQ is just one measure of intelligence, and it’s not without controversy or limitations. It’s also important to note that the historical record isn’t always clear on the exact IQ scores of every president – so, we’ll be relying on estimates and anecdotal evidence in some cases.

So, what’s the range of presidential IQs? As it turns out, there’s a pretty significant gap between the highest and lowest scores. On the high end, we have some of the most renowned intellectuals in American history – men who were accomplished scholars, inventors, and polymaths. On the low end, we have presidents who were widely regarded as mediocre or worse, both in terms of their intellect and their overall performance in office.

While we’d love to cover all of the US Presidents in this video, we only have enough time to count down the top 10 US presidents.With that in mind, get ready for a little trip back through history as Facts Verse Presents: US Presidents Ranked by IQ and it’s Not Even Close

Abraham Lincoln – IQ 150

Abraham Lincoln ranks last on our list of US presidents by IQ. But, don’t be a fool – he’s far from the least intelligent commander-in-chief. In fact, that dubious distinction goes to his successor, Andrew Johnson. Despite ranking tenth, Lincoln was a truly remarkable individual who overcame numerous obstacles to become one of America’s greatest leaders.

Perhaps most impressively, Lincoln had very little formal education, with only about a year of formal schooling under his belt. However, he was a voracious reader and a self-taught student of history, politics, and law. He eventually became a successful lawyer and was known for his sharp wit and eloquence.

As president, Lincoln faces some of the most daunting challenges in US history. It includes the Civil War and the fight to abolish slavery. He’s a gifted orator and gives many memorable speeches. No more so than the Gettysburg Address, which regards as one of the most important speeches in American history.

Unfortunately, Lincoln’s life is cut when he assassinates in 1865, just a month before the end of the Civil War.

Franklin D. Roosevelt – 150.5

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who serves as US president for 12 years. He’s no slouch in the intelligence department, with an IQ of 150.5. Prior to his political career, FDR attended Harvard University and later went on to study law at Columbia University. He also served as assistant secretary of the US Navy under President Woodrow Wilson.

As president, Roosevelt faces the most monumental challenges in US history, including the Great Depression and World War II. He responds with a series of sweeping reforms such as the New Deal. It aims to stimulate the economy and provide relief to those most affected by the Depression. This included the creation of programs like the Social Security Act, which still provides support for millions of Americans today.

Roosevelt’s leadership during World War II was also critical to the Allies eventual victory. He declares war on Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. He works closely with other world leaders to coordinate military efforts and diplomatic strategies.

Throughout his presidency, Roosevelt battles numerous health problems, including his struggle with polio, which paralyzes him from the waist down. Despite these challenges, he remained a tireless and determined leader until his death in office in 1945.

Barack Obama – 155

Barack Obama, the 44th president of the US regards as one of the most intelligent and articulate leaders in memory. With an IQ of 155, Obama is a well-educated individual with degrees from both Columbia University and Harvard Law School. Before entering politics, he worked as a community organizer, civil rights attorney, and constitutional law professor.

During his two terms in office, Obama faces a wide range of challenges. From the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis to the ongoing fight against terrorism. He wins landmark pieces of legislation, including the Affordable Care Act, which expands access to healthcare for millions of Americans.

Obama’s presidency marks by his eloquent speeches and his ability to inspire and connect with people from walks of life. He was known for his calm and measured demeanor, even in the face of intense criticism and opposition.

John Adams – 155

John Adams, the 2nd president of the United States, is overshadowed by his more famous contemporaries. Those are George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. But Adams was a luminous thinker in his own right, with an IQ estimated to be around 155.

Adams was born in Massachusetts in 1735 and went on to study at Harvard University. He becomes a successful lawyer and plays a key role in the American Revolution. He serves as a delegate to the Continental Congress and helps to draft the Declaration of Independence.

In 1797, Adams was elected president, succeeding George Washington. During his presidency, he faces significant challenges. It includes tensions with France and the passage of the controversial Alien and Sedition Acts, which restricts civil liberties.

Despite these challenges, Adams is a highly effective leader who works tirelessly to uphold the principles of the Constitution. He defends the young nation from external threats. He also played a pivotal role in the establishment of the US Navy, which helped to protect American interests at sea.

After serving a single term in office, Adams was defeated by his political rival Thomas Jefferson in the 1800 election.

James Madison – 155

James Madison, the 4th president of the United States, is often referred to as the “Father of the Constitution” due to his instrumental role in drafting the document that still governs the country today. Madison was also a brilliant political theorist and writer, with an IQ estimated to be around 155.

Madison was born in Virginia in 1751 and attended the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). He became involved in politics at an early age and played a key role in the American Revolution, serving in the Virginia state legislature and as a delegate to the Continental Congress.

In 1787, Madison was a driving force behind the Constitutional Convention, which produced the US Constitution. He is also credited with helping to shape many of the document’s key provisions, including the separation of powers, the Bill of Rights, and the system of checks and balances.

Madison went on to serve as Thomas Jefferson’s Secretary of State before being elected president himself in 1808. During his presidency, he oversaw the country’s involvement in the War of 1812 and helped to establish the Second Bank of the United States.

Jimmy Carter – 156.8

It’s estimated that Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States, had a relatively high IQ of 156.8.

Carter was born in Georgia in 1924 and attended the United States Naval Academy before serving in the Navy during World War II. After leaving the military, he went on to earn degrees in engineering and physics from Georgia Tech and became a successful peanut farmer.

Carter’s political career began in the 1960s, when he served in the Georgia state senate and later as the state’s governor. In 1976, he was elected president, defeating incumbent Gerald Ford in a close race.

Throughout his presidency, Carter faced several challenges, including the energy crisis, the Iranian hostage crisis, and economic stagflation. Despite having a lot on his plate, he remained committed to promoting human rights and social justice both domestically and abroad, including through his efforts to broker peace between Israel and Egypt.

Bill Clinton – 159

With an estimated IQ of 159, Bill Clinton is often regarded as one of the most intellectually gifted presidents in American history. Born and raised in Arkansas, Clinton pursued his education at Georgetown, Oxford, and Yale, where he met his future wife and fellow law student, Hillary Rodham.

Clinton began his political career in Arkansas state government, serving as the state’s attorney general and later as its governor. He was elected president in 1992, defeating incumbent George H.W. Bush in a closely contested race. During his time in office, Clinton achieved several significant policy accomplishments, including the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Despite his intelligence and political acumen, Clinton’s presidency was not without controversy. In 1998, he became only the second president in U.S. history to be impeached by the House of Representatives, following allegations of perjury and obstruction of justice related to his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

John F. Kennedy – 160

Despite having a childhood reputation as a poor student who was more interested in games and sports than studying, John F. Kennedy‘s IQ was measured at 159.8. He eventually turned his academic performance around and graduated from Harvard in 1940.

During the Second World War, he served in the Navy and was awarded a Purple Heart for his heroic actions in the South Pacific. After being elected to both the House and Senate, he became the second-youngest president in history as well as the first and only Catholic president.

JFK’s presidency was marked by significant events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Bay of Pigs invasion, but he also created the Peace Corps and was instrumental in passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Notably, he was the only president to receive a Pulitzer Prize.

Thomas Jefferson – 160

Thomas Jefferson was widely regarded as an intelligent man. He was a polymath who excelled in various fields, including law, politics, agriculture, architecture, and philosophy.

Jefferson was one of the most important founding fathers of the United States, and he is known for his role in drafting the Declaration of Independence, which laid out the principles of American democracy.

He also served as the third president of the United States and made significant contributions to the development of the country’s political system, including the expansion of the United States through the Louisiana Purchase.

In addition to his political achievements, Jefferson was an avid reader and scholar, and he founded the University of Virginia, which was based on his ideas of liberal education.

John Quincy Adams – 175

John Quincy Adams, a Harvard graduate, boasts the highest estimated IQ of all U.S. presidents, with a score of 175. He traveled extensively and learned seven languages, demonstrating his linguistic prowess.

Despite not finishing law school, he excelled as a lawyer. Notably, Adams served as Secretary of State for President James Monroe and played a key role in shaping the Monroe Doctrine and negotiating the end of the War of 1812. His impressive public speaking skills earned him the nickname “Old Man Eloquent,” and he is even regarded as one of the most physically fit presidents in history.

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