Celebrity Then And Now
Thomas Jefferson
Name: Thomas Jefferson
Birthdate: April 13, 1743
Famous Years: 1801-Present
Currently Known For: Former President of the United States
Networth: $234 millionFamous For: 3rd President of the United States, draftsman of the Declaration of Independence
Thomas Jefferson
Name Thomas Jefferson
Birthdate April 13, 1743
Famous Years 1801-Present
Currently Known For Former President of the United States
Networth $234 million
Famous For 3rd President of the United States, draftsman of the Declaration of Independence

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Almost all Americans can name several of the founding fathers of the country, especially since it’s taught in just about any school that you’ll see. Jefferson was elected as the second Vice President of the United States, taking office in 1797. Four years later, he would become the country’s third president, further cementing his place in American history.

Jefferson was born in Virginia when it was an English colony, and showed signs of high intelligence at a very young age. Before even turning 10 years old, Jefferson had learned three languages outside of English, and excelled greatly as a student. At just 16 years old, Jefferson enrolled at the College of William & Mary, studying a broad range of topics that many college students would avoid for being too tough.

Within just two years, Jefferson had graduated from college and continued to work in law, taking in as much information as possible from his thousands of books. Jefferson passed the bar and then became involved in politics where he eventually became a prominent figure. Following the Revolutionary War, Jefferson became the main author of the Declaration of Independence, eventually working his way up the ladder to the Vice President and President of the United States positions.

People were always impressed with Jefferson’s intelligence, and history hasn’t forgotten how smart the third president was. Estimates have said that Jefferson was among the smartest presidents in the country’s history, placing his IQ between 150 and 153. This would plant him within the top three all-time according to these estimates and firmly in the genius category.

Of course, it wouldn’t be until 1916 that the IQ test was invented, so Jefferson wasn’t able to actually take the quiz. Also, there’s obviously not anybody that was alive when Jefferson was around, so it’s impossible to get a firsthand account of Jefferson’s intelligence. Still, his academic prowess and leadership has many experts believing that Jefferson was a timeless genius.

So what other accomplishments outside of his college record and time as president has analysts believing that Jefferson was one of the smartest men to ever lead the United States? Jefferson was very interested in philosophy, and was even the president of the American Philosophical Society, which you can add on top of his multilingual abilities.

Jefferson had a massive vocabulary in these multiple languages that he spoke, and was a noted writer on top of being an avid reader. Jefferson wrote “Notes on the State of Virginia” which laid the groundwork for how the nation would operate during his time as the United States President. He would also found the University of Virginia, which is now the largest school in the state.

The nation wouldn’t be the same without Jefferson, as he negotiated with Napoleon Bonaparte to acquire the Louisiana territory that would allow the United States to not only double in size, but acquire a massive territory of land where farming was more abundant to help the United States to become a greater power. While some might consider states like Nebraska, Iowa or Kansas to be “flyover” states, without the farming capabilities, the United States wouldn’t be as self-sustainable as it is today.

Jefferson was also a great inventor, coming up with brilliant ideas that included storm windows, the revolving door, the dumbwaiter elevator and much more. Many don’t realize this because Jefferson never acquired a patent for his greatest inventions, wanting people to freely use them. Jefferson even knew how to farm like very few in the young United States did, introducing a multitude of crops to the country that included tomatoes, rice, grapes and apricots.

Many that served as president have looked to Jefferson as being the shining example of intelligence, including Abraham Lincoln. John F. Kennedy was one of Jefferson’s biggest fans, too, and said to a group of scientists that were visiting the White House that “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

James Parton was a biographer that detailed the lives of many notable Americans that included Aaron Burr, Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson. When speaking about Jefferson, he said that he “could calculate an eclipse, survey an estate, tie an artery, plan an edifice, try a cause, break a horse, dance a minuet and play the violin.” In other words, Jefferson was a Renaissance man that could not only do a lot of things, but could do them all greatly.

America needed a leader like Thomas Jefferson to become the power that it is today, and it’s hard to believe that it would’ve been accomplished without his foresight. When discussing Jefferson’s history as president, many people will point out that he was hypocritical when it came to slavery, as he said that “all men are created equal” but was a slave owner himself.

Controversy aside, it’s hard to deny from secondhand accounts and his own accomplishments that Jefferson was a man of tremendous intelligence. With many powerful people saying that Jefferson was the one that they’ve looked up to the most, it’s easy to see why he’s remembered by history as one of the greats, and his intelligence had a lot to do with his achievements.