The Most Intelligent U.S. Presidents Ranked By IQ Score

A wise man once said, “beauty is fleeting, but intelligence is forever.” This is the case for many of the Presidents of the United States. They start their first four-year term, young, fresh, and ready to take the free world a better place.


After a few years, the stress might give them some gray hair and a few more wrinkles, but as the wise man said, their intelligence is forever. Most presidents have a higher than average IQ. Note that between 90 and 110 is an average score. The Lowest to Highest Presidential IQs, Ranked:

 George W. Bush

George W. Bush had a higher than average IQ of 124 with a quirky personality that made him the memorable 41st President of the United States. He went to Harvard and also served as a pilot in the National Guard during the Vietnam War.


He was a too very talented painter who even had gallery showings. He is most remembered as leading our country after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America and initiating The Iraq War.

 Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford was the first unelected president in our nation’s history. This Vice President took office in 1974 when President Nixon resigned due to the Watergate Scandal.


His confidence and IQ of 127 played a role in his decision to pardon President Nixon, which was a controversial decision at the time.

Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan was the 40th president of the great U.S.A. from 1981 to 1989 during a very optimistic time in our country.


His IQ of 130 must have played a part in him first being a successful Hollywood actor turned politician. He is remembered for many things including his charismatic disposition, deep love for his wife Nancy, ending the Cold War and revitalizing the Republican Party

 George H. Bush

George H. Bush, father of George W. Bush, a Harvard graduate with IQ of 130.1, was a very accomplished military man who was a fighter pilot before becoming the President of The United States. He served in a time when the country’s economy was uncertain, and many of his decisions were unpopular.


As president, he’s remembered for overseeing military operations that ended in the fall of Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union,

William McKinley

William McKinley was a president who would be a college drop out. McKinley ended up getting an IQ of 130.2, and while he would go back to college and graduate from Albany Law School, he would be a great president.


The downside is he actually would be assassinated just after a few months in office and never really got to develop his presidency to the level he wanted it to reach.

Grover Cleveland

Grover Cleveland is one of those people that made himself into what he is sawed as today. He came from a low-income family that could not afford to send him to college, but Cleveland still managed to become a lawyer.


What else is interesting is even with an IQ of 130.9 Cleveland would be well known for being extremely honest in his work, but also the fact that he had a lot of work ethic going forward in his job.

Dwight Eisenhower

Dwight Eisenhower is going to be seen as one of the greatest presidents of all time in some views but also recognized as one of the few that managed to promote party cooperation.


What else is interesting is Eisenhower was smart enough with an IQ of 131.9 to make it into West Point. After graduation, Eisenhower would become the mastermind of one of the most significant military operations of all time, Operation Overlord.

 George Washington

Our first president and commander in chief, George Washington, was a man of integrity, public service, and an IQ of 132.5. He only had a grade school education and was a self-taught colonial surveyor at the young age of 17!


This founding father spent time in the military and was smart enough to recognize our country needed a stable government to succeed. He led many battles so our country could be the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Benjamin Harrison

While he only served a single term, Harrison was one of the most successful lawyers that you can find that served as a president as well.


Harrison ended up representing Venezuela against the UK, and it is no reason why, with an IQ of 132.2, it was very easy to see Harrison having a quick whit to outsmart almost all the lawyers in the land.

Martin Van Buren

The Democratic party can trace its foundations back to Martin Van Buren. Granted, it has changed quite a bit since Van Buren helped to found the party, but with his 133.4 IQ, he had the intelligence to help get the party set up. Not to mention, his knowledge served him well as he was admitted to the bar before the age of 14.


He was the first president born after the independence of the US from the British Empire. He was born to a family of Dutch Americans and was the only President who spoke English as a second language.

Rutherford B. Hayes

Hayes had to deal with the rebuilding process and building the bridges of the Civil War. Hayes ended up doing well in Kenyon College with an IQ of 133.9; it is easy to see why.


Better known for his election than his term in office. With votes seemingly in favor of Democrat Samuel Tilden, he came up short in the electoral votes. However, due to a technicality, Hayes became President, highlighting a flaw in the Constitution.

William Henry Harrison

After success on the battlefields, William Henry Harrison entered politics and was the first governor of Indiana. He was elected the ninth president (1841).


William Henry Harrison had a very short term as president of only 32 days. However, it was not because of a killer that caused the short term. Instead, even with a successful career in the military, Harrison could not beat pneumonia he caught, and sadly, with the 133.9 IQ he could not find the answer for his disease.

Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce was the 14th president and served between 1853 and 185. and had an IQ of 134.8, according to Simonton’s estimates


Pierce may have been one of the most intelligent presidents of his time with an IQ  and graduated from Bowdoin College, but he was unable to come through the presidency as being a good character.  That often comes from the fact that Pierce did not correctly address the issue of slavery.

Millard Fillmore

Millard Fillmore was a brilliant president, but a lot of people are guffawed at how he managed to ignore the issue of slavery.


What is interesting is Fillmore, with an IQ of 136, never went to college, but he would found the University of Buffalo.

John Tyler

With the high 136.2, IQ and the education from the College of William and Mary, people would have expected Tyler to do quite a bit better as president.


However, that was not the case, and in fact, Tyler ended up having a very unimpressive presidency that did not shake the roots of any of the political systems at any point.

Chester Arthur

While most people think that Chester Arthur did not do that well as president, he is one who has managed to be one of the most intelligent presidents that you can find.


Arthur ended up getting into Union College, but he has been seen as very intelligent with an IQ of 141.5. One thing that Arthur was well known for was his fight against political corruption that was running wild at the time.

James Garfield

James Garfield is a knowledgeable President who knew Latin and Ancient Greek. Both of those are complicated languages to master, but Garfield was able to master both of them rather quickly.


It is easy to see why when you look at the fact that he has an IQ of 141.5 and was a fantastic student at Williams College.

Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover did not become involved in politics until a little bit later in life. He would work in his uncles’ real estate office but also managed to get a degree from Stanford as a mining engineer. The degree would be what got Hoover involved in the political forces with the start of humanitarian work.


Running for president was a natural solution for the problems he saw and perceived that he could help with the IQ of 141.6, which makes him one of the most intelligent presidents in this list.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States whose IQ is 145, made history as the first African American President. He attended Harvard, where he graduated from the top of his class.


As president, he was instrumental in ending the war with Iraq and enacted The Healthcare Reform Act, better known as Obama Care.

 Abraham Lincoln

Unlike other United States presidents, Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, didn’t attend prestigious schools. He didn’t have much formal education at all. This self-taught gentleman is known for abolishing slavery in our country through the Emancipation Proclamation. He was referred to as Honest Abe for his tell it like it is, direct style.


He was a larger than life man with a larger than life personality that impressed the country’s leaders. He was a very skilled speaker and is famous for the Gettysburg Address, know to be the most famous presidential speech in American history. He had an IQ of 148 and was the only president to have a patent after inventing a device to free steamboats that ran aground.

 Franklin D. Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt or FDR had an IQ of 150.5. He graduated from Harvard and Columbia University, two very prestigious institutions. Although he suffered from Polio, he became the 32nd president of the United States and guided our country through the Great Depression and the Second World War.


He created The New Deal and Social Security system to improve the economy after the war. He’s also the only president to serve more than two consecutive terms in office.

 John F. Kennedy

This man was not only handsome; he was charismatic and very smart with an impressive IQ of 150.8. JFK graduated from Harvard in 1940, won a Purple Heart for his heroism in WWII and held seats in both the House of Representatives and the Senate before being elected our 35th president in 1961. He also won a Pulitzer Prize, created the Peace Corps, and handled the Cuban Missile Crisis with poise.


He was born with a silver Kennedy spoon in his mouth but with tenacity became the youngest president ever. Unfortunately, he was assassinated and left this Earth way to soon but is remembered for many significant accomplishments.

  Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt or Teddy, as he was called, was one of our most intelligent and dynamic presidents to walk the halls of the White House with IQ of 153. He attended both Harvard and Columbia Law Schools.


He was called the Father of the U.S. Navy because he built and strengthened this branch of the service to be a force at sea. He was famous for his quote,” Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

 Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson was the 28th president of the United States who used his high IQ of 155.2 to get our country through World War I. He studied at Princeton, the University of Virginia and Johns Hopkins, which is very impressive.


Before his political career began, he earned his Ph.D. in political science and was president of Princeton University. Dr. Woodrow Wilson was instrumental in creating the League of Nations, which advocated world peace. For these efforts, he won the Nobel Peace Prize.

 Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter was a southern gentleman who was our 39th American President. He had a kind disposition, and many didn’t recognize him as a highly intelligent man, although his IQ was 156. He served in the Navy before becoming president, where he used his diplomacy to improve the country’s humanitarian work.


He established the United States Department of Energy and the United States Department of Education. Later in life, he became a professor, created the Carter Center to advance human rights, and was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton, our 42nd President, has an impressive IQ of 159. He attended prestigious Georgetown, where he won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford and continued to Yale to earn his law degree.


He played saxophone and even once considered becoming a professional musician, but he chose public service and moved on to the Arkansas government. He was elected president of the United States in 1993, the first baby boomer generation president.

 James Madison

James Madison, the fifth president of the United States, is known as the Father of the Constitution and helped write the Bill of Rights and the Monroe Doctrine.


He was a brilliant gentleman who established the Democrat-Republican Party with the help of another smart man,  President Thomas Jefferson. At 5 feet 4 inches, Madison is the shortest U.S. president, but his IQ definitely very high: estimated to be 160

Thomas Jefferson

The third president of our great country had a very high IQ of 168, too, and he used it to accomplish great things that formed America. This founding father was extraordinarily intelligent and motivated.


He not only was the author of the Declaration of Independence, but he also facilitated the Louisiana purchase, abolished the slave trade, and founded the University of Virginia.

John Quincy Adams

Way back, and we mean way, way back in history when the intelligence quotient or IQ test as we know it was implemented, there were some brilliant people who were also very brave. One was the sixth president of the United States, John Quincy Adams, who was noted as having an IQ of 175.


This Harvard graduate is at the tippy top of all presidents when comparing IQ scores. He traveled and studied all around the world, could speak fluently in seven languages, and became a lawyer without ever completing law school! Presidents use their intelligence and passion to make changes that will go down in history. It takes a high IQ and a lifetime of persistence and confidence to make the White House your home.

 Donald Trump

Our current president, Donald J. Trump’s IQ, has been a subject of debate for years.  There’s no evidence he’s ever actually taken a formal IQ test, but several articles have estimated his IQ at 156, which would make him smarter than 99.98% of the population.  So, what is Donald Trump’s IQ? The world may never know

Trump claims his high IQ is common knowledge, writing “Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it!”


He is a business tycoon turned celebrity, turned author, turned politician who is still establishing what he will be renowned for other than building the controversial wall. He is a dynamic president of the United States that has changed the landscape of this esteemed office, and the verdict is still out on his mark on history.

Significant Legacy

Presidents are often seen as being political figureheads, and that is true in some cases. However, unlike what a lot of people think the presidents tend to be very intelligent and often can be seen as some of the more smart people around.


With that being the case, we have explored some of the more intelligent presidents which some people may have never really considered before as being that intelligent because they do not leave behind a significant legacy that people have come to recognize.