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The Smartest and the Least Smart US Presidents by IQ

Can you achieve a significant success even though you are were not the smartest kid in the classroom? One of the best examples can be seen in the IQ scores of ex-presidents of the United States. According to the research conducted by the University of California, who investigated the IQ ratio of ex-presidents based on their biographies, their leadership, and overall academic brilliance. We’ve decided to present you with the 5 smartest and 5 least smart presidents of the US.

Smartest Presidents

John Quincy Adams (1825-1829) – IQ Score: 168.75

Source:theatlantic.com

The sixth president of the US studied law at the famous Harvard University. He is famous for his brilliant presidential mandate achievements, such as ending the war with the United Kingdom with the Treaty of Ghent, Buying the state of Florida from Spain, and established the border with Canada.

Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) – IQ Score: 153.75

Source:biography.com

Thomas Jefferson is probably the most intellectual president of them all because of his knowledge of architecture, mechanics, several languages, mathematics, and being a talented surveyor. His achievements are establishing a peace treaty with France, developing the American trade, and he doubled the territory of the United States.

John F. Kennedy (1961-1963) – IQ Score: 150.65

Source:therake.com

JFK is one of the most loved US presidents ever, mainly for his charm and for his tragic end. He was responsible for steering the country during the Cold War era and he managed to achieve some exceptional things for his country like Equal Pay Act (1963) and proposing the blueprint for the future Civil Rights Act (1964).

Bill Clinton (1993-2001) – IQ Score: 148.8

Source:nationalreview.com

42th American President had a really rough childhood that had a lot of family drama; however, he didn’t let these to prevent him to succeed in life. Before he became a US President, he worked at the University of Arkansas, where he lectured law and he was the Governor of Arkansas.

Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) – IQ Score: 145.1

Source:theatlantic.com

Even though Woodrow Wilson wasn’t such a great law student, he ultimately managed to pass the bar exam in the state of Georgia. He was the US president during the crucial years after World War I, and he had a significant influence on the future look of the European continent after the war.

Least Smart Presidents

Andrew Johnson (1865-1869) – IQ Score: 125.65

Source:britannica.com

Andrew Johnson was the 17th president of the US, who emerged from a poor family and he didn’t receive an official education. He will be remembered as the total opposite of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, and he wasn’t remembered well by the people.

George W. Bush (2001-2009) – IQ Score: 124.88

Source:abcnews.go.com

Described as a traditional man, George W. Bush was the second US president from the Bush family. His presidency evolved around criticism of the Iraq War and bad response to Hurricane Katrina, which hit states of Louisiana, Florida, and Mississippi.

Warren G. Harding (1921-1923) – IQ Score:124.13

Source:vox.com

Before Warren Harding became the US president, he was the co-owner of a moneymaking newspaper. His presidency is often described as one of the worst in the history of the US by historians.

James Monroe (1817-1825) – IQ Score: 124.13

Source:britannica.com

James Monroe was an ambassador of the US in France, where he didn’t have a lot of success, before becoming a president. However, he did a good job of being a president and he had numerous achievements, but, the most prominent is that he found colonies for freed slaves in Africa. The capital of Liberia, Monrovia got its name after him.

Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877) – IQ Score: 120

Source:biography.com

The former general that fought in the Civil War is believed to have the lowest IQ Score among all Presidents involved in the research. Even he was a successful general, he wasn’t the best in his new role as a president, and he didn’t have any success with battling depression in the late 1800s which ended in bankruptcy of many American citizens, as well as him.


Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with foreignpolicyi.org from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]gmai.com