|Famous For: 40th President of the United States||Currently Known For: Former President of the United States|
Currently Known For Former President of the United States
"We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone." One of the most charismatic presidents in United States history, Ronald Reagan did not carry a lot of political experience until later in his life. Reagan would serve as the country’s 40th president, serving from January 1981 to January 1989. While he was growing up, Reagan was more interested in a variety of other topics, which included sports, as he excelled in both football and swimming.
Reagan would get his first taste of political success while in school when he was named class president at Dixon High School in Illinois and then attended the small private school of Eureka College. Reagan excelled as a student there, and was actually aspiring to be a sportscaster that worked with the Chicago Cubs radio network.
Reagan then decided that while the Cubs were on the road, he’d try his hand at acting and submitted a screen test to Warner Brothers, receiving a contract with the movie production company. He starred in several movies, most notably as George Gipp in “Knute Rockne, All American”, and then served in the military during World War II.
Before heading off to war, Reagan had been the president of the Screen Actors Guild and following the war became the vice president. Then, finally, Reagan became more involved in politics, and enamored the people of California in his run for governor. Reagan was a tremendous speaker that could rally a crowd, and he won the election to govern California in 1966.
Following his governorship, Reagan took on Gerald R. Ford in the 1976 presidential election, but Ford would retain the Republican nomination. Four years later, however, Reagan took on incumbent president Jimmy Carter, winning by a landslide of 489 electoral votes to 49. Carter had won just six states and Washington, D.C., making it among the most decided presidential victories of all-time.
In terms of intelligence, you certainly couldn’t overlook Reagan, who was bright enough to communicate with a crowd on every level, dating back to his early schooling years. In 2006, Dean Keith Simonton evaluated the United States presidents, and estimated that Reagan carried an IQ of 131.9, which would put him in the middle of the pack in terms of presidents.
Though there were quite a few presidents that were estimated to be higher in terms of IQ than Reagan, it should be noted that 131.9 is a tremendously high IQ. That would put him into the category of “gifted”, and when rounded up to 132 would get him into MENSA as part of the top two percent in intelligence. You want to put your nation in the hands of someone with high level intelligence, and the United States did just that when electing Reagan.
There are people that might say that Reagan’s intelligence level is a bit inflated due to being a popular president, citing that he didn’t have the history of writing that a lot of presidents have had. They considered him to be simply a good communicator that was able to portray intelligence in his speeches. Analysts have also said that Reagan was well liked, but nobody really noted at the time of his career that he was the smartest person in the room.
Based on some of these criticisms, Reagan’s IQ might actually be lower than a near-genius level, but he was still by no means “dumb,” just that he isn’t one of the most intelligent presidents in U.S. history. Many Americans would even rank Reagan as their favorite president of all-time, especially those on the Republican Party side of things.
Fans of Reagan would say that he was perhaps the most intelligent Republican to ever come along, citing his economic prowess as a sign of high intelligence. This economic plan was dubbed as Reaganomics, and worked as a trickle-down system where there were four key points: Reducing government spending, reducing the federal income (as well as capital gains) tax, reducing government regulation and reducing inflation.
Whether the plan worked or not for Reagan was in the eye of the beholder, as some are still huge fans of this form of economic policy while there are also many critics. The debt did increase dramatically during Reaganomics, though unemployment rates would end up dropping tremendously during his second term and lowered the amount of people in poverty.
Even if he wasn’t the most booksmart president, Reagan was one of the most savvy in getting things done, which does score him some more points to IQ estimates for some. Reagan was instrumental in putting an end to the Cold War, and was in charge of the United States during the fall of the Soviet Union. Reagan was certainly the right guy in the right place at the right time, and was just what America needed during the 1980s following a recession.
His schooling career was certainly above average, many people are still fans of Reagan to this day and he did have a list of accomplishments that many presidents would be proud of. In terms of intelligence, Reagan was somewhere in the “average” category, but well above the average IQ for the common person.