Albert Einstein had an approximate IQ of 160, Issac Newton ‘s estimated IQ is 190, and Mark Zuckerburg’s IQ is152. These famous men are known all over the world as absolute geniuses. But once lived a person whose IQ was said to be between 250 and 300! William James Sidis, the smartest man ever to walk the Planet, was a child prodigy and an outstanding mathematician.
So let’s shine a light on the story of William James Sidis’ life and find out the reason as why a Genius like him is not as well-known in the world today.
He could speak 8 languages when he was barely 8 years old
William was born in New York City in 1898. His father Boris was an praiseworthy psychologist who earned 4 degrees from Harvard. His mother was also an MD. His parents were geniuses themselves, William James Sidis was naturally expected to be brilliant as well but his intelligence proved to be far more than conventional.
He was able to read The New York Times hen he was just 18 months old. By age 8, he self taught himself many languages like Latin, French, Russian, German, Hebrew, Greek, Turkish, and Armenian. In addition to those 8 languages, he also invented his own language and called it “Vendergood.”
He became the youngest person to enroll in Harvard.
Very well aware of his intellect, his father tried to enroll him at Harvard, but he was rejected because William was only 9 years old at the time. William became the youngest person to be admitted to Harvard in 1909 when he was accepted by the institute two years later. By 1910, his understanding of mathematics had grown to such an degree that he started to teach his professors instead, gaining him the title of “child prodigy.” By the age of 16, he completed his bachelor of arts degree.
He decided to live a secluded life.
Fame can be tiresome, especially if you’re exposed to it at a young age. Shortly after graduation, William told reporters that he wanted to live a “perfect” life, which, according to him, was one of isolation. He also added that he would never get married since women did not appeal to him.
In addition to his undesired popularity, his decision also represented the burden he had been feeling since birth. During that time , America believed that it would turn children into prodigies with the right education. As a gifted psychologist, William ‘s father was eager to make his son shine as bright as a star. To achieve this, he used his own psychological approaches to raise his son and push him forward.While William enjoyed learning as a child, his opinion changed as an adult, and he blamed his father for it. When Boris died in 1923, William declined to attend his funeral.
He was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Just as geniuses usually do in order to maintain a low profile, William worked low-paying clerical jobs. Even so, people would still recognize him, leaving him no choice but to change his job again. In 1924, reporters learned that he worked a $23-a-week job that made headlines again, except this time they ridiculed his maturity and claimed he was no longer capable of doing what he did as a child.
That, however, was not true, as William had written a number of valuable books using various pseudonyms during his life.
He was a socialist and an objector to World War I. In addition, he was arrested in 1919 for a protest that turned violent in Boston, where he was sentenced to 18 months in jail. However, his parents found a way to keep him out of jail and locked him up in their sanatorium for two years.
William spent his life broken and completely lonely. Outside his family, he worked as a machine runner and did petty jobs to make the ends meet. The guy who might have changed the world died an awful death at 46, like no one, suffering from cerebral hemorrhage in 1944. Interestingly, his father died in the same condition.
What do you think of William’s story? Were you aware that there once existed a individual with an IQ of 250-300?