A Story of the Smartest Woman Whose Life Was Changed at 10 Years Old

3 years ago

If you are asked who the smartest person of modern time is you would probably say Elon Musk or Steve Jobs. But it’s actually someone else who officially has the highest IQ. Her name is Marilyn vos Savant and her brain is her claim-to-fame.

We at Bright Side always feel excited to learn about the lives of outstanding people and today we would like to share the story of Marilyn vos Savant. There is also a bonus for you with the IQ scores of popular personalities.

Marilyn was a remarkable child with an unremarkable childhood.

Marilyn was born in 1946 in Missouri and her parents were immigrants from Germany and Italy. She lived a normal peaceful childhood and nothing extraordinary happened in her life. An apple didn’t hit her head and she didn’t scream “Eureka!” She was just a normal kid when something happened that later changed her life.

Savant had her first IQ test in September of 1956 when she was just 10 years old. Her mental age was 22 years and 10 months and her general score was 228. For comparison, the average IQ score of a normal person is between 85 and 115.

Although it turned out that Marilyn had an extraordinary brain, her parents decided to hide this information from the public in order to assure her a normal childhood.

Finally, society found out that she was one of the smartest people in the world.

When Savant became older she continued her studies, but she felt bored and left Washington University after 2 years. Marilyn started to build her career in stocks and real estate. Despite this, her real passion was writing. She used her personal investments to allow herself to become a full-time writer. But even then, Savant wrote novels and short stories under a pseudonym in order to stay out of the spotlight.

The year 1988 changed her life. Her unbelievably high IQ level of 228 was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records Hall of Fame. Suddenly, Savant became a celebrity.

Interviews and TV shows entered her life, but Savant didn’t let that go to her head: “We only use something like 10 percent of our brain, anywhere between 5 and 15 percent.” In her opinion, people are capable of extraordinary things. Just some people can use “17.7 percent of their brain” and others “17.8 percent.”

Savant’s personality became attractive to the public and she was even featured in an episode of The Simpsons in 1999.

To her detractors, she is someone who has squandered her gift of genius.

As a wife, a mother, and a successful columnist, her life seemed too normal. In 1987, she married Robert K. Jarvik, the surgeon who developed the mechanical artificial human heart. But her detractors kept saying that the path she chose in life was too trivial and that she wasn’t using her talent. She got angry messages and people even speculated that maybe she was not a genius.

In her interview, she says that IQ is just a “capacity” of how you use your intelligence. She is not a calculator, but a normal human being: “Everyone has the capacity to be at least an Einstein.”

Despite all the talk about her, Marilyn thinks that she is on the right path: “Society offers us so much. I don’t think we do enough to give back, but I think we all bear a social responsibility and I think I bear one too. And I rather think that writing is an excellent way to give back to people what they have given to me.”

Savant sets a good example that intelligent people are not always the ones taking the lead in this world and that’s also OK because we need to do what actually suits us.

We hope everyone finds their own way in life and feels happy!

Bonus: Check the IQs of the great minds of today, like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs

According to specialists, Steve Jobs likely had an IQ of roughly 160 or above. This means that he was conventionally smarter than about 6,839,822,949 people on earth.

Elon Musk’s IQ is estimated to be at 155.

Mark Zuckerberg’s IQ is at 152, which is in the top 0.1% of the population in the world.

What’s your opinion about IQ tests? Do you believe that they can show how smart a person is?


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“We only use something like 10 percent of our brain, anywhere between 5 and 15 percent.” In her opinion, people are capable of extraordinary things. Just some people can use “17.7 percent of their brain” and others “17.8 percent.”
this has been debunked 1000 times.


Well the IQ number doesn't really matter, what matters is what you actually end up doing with the chances you have in life and which risks you are willing to take


Really fascinating story, I'm not sure if I would hide it from the world though, maybe it will grant my kid more opportunities if others know about it


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