Albert Einstein had an estimated IQ of 160, Issac Newton’s estimated IQ is 190, and Mark Zuckerberg’s IQ is 152. These famous men are known as absolute geniuses around the world. But there once lived a person whose IQ was said to be between 250 and 300! William James Sidis, the most intelligent man to ever walk the Earth, was a child prodigy and an exceptional mathematician. He was a master at multiple dialects and a gifted author as well. But sadly, not many people have ever heard of him.
Engineering Insider would like to shine a light on William James Sidis’ life story and the reason why he’s not as well-known as he probably should be.
At the age of 8, he could speak 8 languages.
William was born in New York City in 1898. His father Boris was an exemplary psychologist who earned 4 degrees from Harvard. His mother was also an MD. Since his parents were geniuses themselves, William James Sidis was expected to be brilliant as well but his intelligence proved to be far more than ordinary.
William’s father, Boris Sidis
At the age of just 18 months, he was able to read The New York Times. By age 8, he taught himself Latin, Greek, French, Russian, German, Hebrew, Turkish, and Armenian. In addition to those 8 languages, he also invented his own and called it “Vendergood.”
He became the youngest person to enroll in Harvard.
Very much aware of his intelligence, his father tried to enroll him in Harvard but was refused as William was only 9 years old at that time. 2 years later, the institute accepted him and William became the youngest person to be admitted to Harvard in 1909. By 1910, his knowledge of mathematics peaked so much that he started lecturing his professors instead, earning him the title of “child prodigy.” He completed his bachelor of arts degree at the age of 16.