It seems that even the greatest of men, with the greatest of IQs have a common undoing: women. Bill Clinton’s image of being a “good ol’ boy,” was shattered by one of the White House’s biggest scandals ever. His IQ of 159 couldn’t save him from the hellfire of the media and the American public. When 22-year-old Monica Lewinsky sauntered into the office as an intern, Clinton had no idea she would later spell disaster for him. Their secret affair was denied vehemently, with Clinton’s famous line “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” an attempt to cover his tracks. Not so; their denial became grounds for charges of perjury! Clinton however, served his term following impeachment, yet the damage had been done.
Seems that despite his smarts, he wasn’t smart enough to not commit perjury, nor adultery. Not to mention a lesser known fact that he lost the nuclear launch codes for a few months. Oh dear.
37. Jimmy Carter Jr. (No. 39) - IQ 156.8
A Nobel Peace Prize winner and an advocate to change, James Earl Carter, Jr., secures his place in our top 10, as one of the smartest U.S Presidents. Jimmy was often underestimated however, with an IQ of 156.8, we beg to differ. His aspirations to make the government both competent and compassionate were commendable, yet somewhat unattainable in a time. He championed human rights, and even brought amity between Egypt and Israel through the Camp David agreement of 1978.
If that isn’t noteworthy, we don’t know what is! His humanitarian impact has been extensive, yet even the extremely intelligent can be a little...er…eccentric. His claim to have seen UFOs following a 1976 conference in Georgia makes us think maybe Fox Mulder of the X-Files was right in saying “I want to believe.” If a man of 156.8 is saying they’re real, then we want to believe, too.
38. James Madison (No. 4) - IQ 160
Tied with his great friend comes James Madison with a whopping IQ of 160. Another of the Founding Fathers, Madison is credited as the Father of the Constitution. With a resume as impressive as his IQ, Madison advised President Washington as well as held the position of secretary of state under Jefferson. However, Madison is not so easily defined by his role supporting others, due to his great contribution to the creation of the United States. He assisted in framing the Bill of Rights, as well as having a hand in the writing of the Constitution.
Unlike his successors in more recent years, Madison was humble enough to state that the document was not simply “the off-spring of a single brain,” but “the work of many heads and many hands.” It seems that once Presidential IQs exceed 150, they are more deserving of the political honour bestowed upon them.
40. John F. Kennedy (No. 35) - IQ 159.8
There aren’t many names with the same presence as John F. Kennedy. One of the most intelligent Presidents to ever hold office, JFK left behind a legacy which far outweighs his sky-high IQ. But while he made one of history’s greatest speeches in Berlin in 1963, he also was rumored to be quite the ladies’ man. JFK didn’t only keep his mind busy; among his dozen or so mistresses there floats the rumor of a dalliance with Marilyn Monroe. Jackie O was stunning, but perhaps Gentleman Prefer Blondes? The youngest elected President in office, his life was sadly cut terribly short.
It still remains that JFK is remembered for his brilliant sayings and philosophies. America merely glimpsed his greatness, and unfortunately did not get to see what this great man was totally capable of. Among his rousing speeches and clever remarks, JFK once joked “the pay is good, and I can walk to work.” Hadn’t really considered a career in politics, but when you put it that way...is anybody else suddenly thinking of getting on the campaign trail?
41. Thomas Jefferson (No. 3) - IQ 160
In tied second place is Thomas Jefferson, the Founding Father who is responsible for the penning of the Declaration of Independence. One of the highest-ranked presidents in U.S history, we have finally found a President who lived up to his IQ. A lesser known fact is during a visit to France as Foreign Minister, where he first sampled French cuisine, his fondness of the fare required his 19-year-old chef James Hemings to learn the art of French cooking.
During his time as President, Jefferson hosted fanciful dinner parties with French dishes prepared by his chef, popularizing ice-cream and waffles! We’ll take a few helpings of waffles a la mode to go, thank you. It seems that just because you have an IQ far greater than the average person doesn’t mean you can’t have a wicked sweet tooth. Perhaps he was a distant relative of Marie Antoinette?