September 21, 2021


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Meet William James Sidis: The Smartest Person Ever

4 min read

The smartest people in the world are measured by their Intelligence Quotient (IQ). The IQ determines how smart and capable the human brain is through series of tests.

For a fun fact, the average IQ is around 100. So the higher your IQ, the smarter you are. Anybody who scores has an IQ of more than 140 is considered a genius.

Notable geniuses that come to mind are Albert Einstein who had an IQ of 160…Marilyn Vos Servant’s IQ score of 190 makes her the smartest woman in history. We cOULD also consider the likes of Nikola Tesla, Leonardo Da Vinci, Graham Bell, Thomas Edison as some of the smartest people ever.

However, none of them comes close to William James Sidis, the smartest person ever. With an IQ of 275, William James Sidis remains the smartest person ever with the highest IQ in the world and it is evident in the function of his brain, mental fortitude and intelligence.

William James Sidis at age 5 could read a New York Times newspaper when he was 18 months old, could calculate the day on which each date fell in the past 10-,000 years, got into Harvard University at 11 and could speak 25 different languages.

Who is Williams James Sidis?

William James Sidis, born in Boston in 1898, made headlines in the early twentieth century as a child prodigy with an incredible intellect.

His IQ was estimated to be 50-100 points higher than that of Albert Einstein. He could read the New York Times before he was two years old. At the age of six, he could speak English, Latin, French, German, Russian, Hebrew, Turkish, and Armenian. He enrolled at Harvard University at the age of 11 as one of the school’s youngest students in its history.

However, as an adult, he purposefully faded into the background, avoiding the public scrutiny that followed him throughout his childhood.

Amy Wallace, the biographer of Sidis, tells Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz that he despised media attention. “He became a household name, and he despised it,” she explains.

What Was Williams James Sidis Upbringing Like?

Sidis’ parents were also quite astute. Boris, his father, was a well-known psychologist, and Sarah, his mother, was a doctor.

Wallace describes them as aggressive and pushy. “They thought you could create a genius,” Wallace says. His mother used the family’s savings to buy books, maps, and other learning materials for their precocious son.

“One thing that stood out about [Sidis] in comparison to other child prodigies was that very few prodigies have multiple abilities,” Wallace says. Sidis invented his own language as a child and wrote French poetry, a novel, and a utopian constitution.

Williams James Sidis At Harvard At Age 11

Sidis was accepted to Harvard at the age of nine, but the university wanted him to wait until he was eleven. He graduated with honours five years later.

His Harvard days, on the other hand, were not full of happy memories.

“He’d made a mockery of himself at Harvard,” Wallace says. “He admitted that he had never kissed a woman. He was teased and chased, which was humiliating. And all he wanted was to be a regular working man, away from academia.”

Why did Williams James Sidis Hide From The Public

Sidis went into hiding from public scrutiny after a brief stint as a mathematics professor after graduation, moving from city to city, job to job, often using an alias.

Throughout this time, he wrote a number of books, including a 1,200-page history of the United States and a book on streetcar transfer tickets, which he collected. His books were never widely distributed, and he used at least eight different pen names.

“We’ll never know how many books he published under fictitious names,” Wallace says.

An inscribed copy of The Animate and the Inanimate, a book he wrote in 1925, was recently sold in London to an anonymous collector for 5,000 pounds — nearly $8,000.

Williams James Sidi Sues New York Times

Sidis thought the article’s description of him was humiliating and “made him sound crazy,” according to Wallace. Wallace claims that after the article was published, “Sidis decided to come out of the woodwork and out of hiding, and sued the New Yorker.”

Sidis successfully argued in court that the magazine had libelled him.

Sidis managed to stay out of the spotlight until 1937 when the New Yorker magazine dispatched a female reporter to befriend him and gather information for an article about what happened to the boy wonder.

Williams James Sidis Death

Williams James Sidis died in 1944 from a brain haemorrhage. He was 46 years old.

Wallace believes Sidis led a happier life as an adult, despite his unhappy childhood and the media scrutiny he faced as a child prodigy.

“People who knew him adored him,” says Wallace. “I believe he went from being a completely traumatized young boy to becoming a happy man.”




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