The world is full of talented people – brilliant mathematicians, wildly creative artists, best-selling authors, scientists, doctors, and more. The pursuits and successes of others can often open our eyes to additional possibilities we may not have otherwise thought possible. Discovering the accomplishments of others can help to drive us to achieve more ourselves, and motivate us to reach to new levels.
So, what does a chess grandmaster, a columnist, and an astrophysicist have in common (besides a high IQ)? All of them pursued their educational opportunities to the fullest, and showed that lifelong learning can have tremendous benefits.
Here we break down what makes these super intelligent humans from across the globe so special.
Five Super Smart People Who Pursued Lifelong Learning
1. Sho Yano
Sho Yano enrolled in Loyola University at age 9, graduating summa cum laude three years later. Also, he has an IQ of 200.
After graduating Loyola, Yano then entered University of Chicago’s prestigious Pritzker School of Medicine at age 12. Then, at age 21, he became the youngest student in the school’s history to receive an M.D. He also has a Ph.D. in molecular genetics and cell biology, according to the Los Angeles Times.
2. Judit Polgár
Judit Polgár is known as the best female chess player in history. Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1976, Polgár was a chess-playing child prodigy and overcame her first grandmaster when she was just 11. At present, she is the only woman in the World Chess Federation’s Top 100 Players.
During her early years, she beat nine world champions, including Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov. In 1991, at 15 years old, Polgár won the Hungarian National Championship and became the then-youngest grandmaster. Apparently, the way in which Polgár’s father raised her and her sisters was part of an experiment to prove that “geniuses are made, not born.”
3. Michael Kearney
Born in Hawaii in 1982, Kearney received a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Alabama at age 10. His IQ scores range from 200 to 325 by different measures.
However, he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) early on and always dreamed of becoming a game show host. By age 22, Kearney had earned four bachelor’s degrees (in anthropology, computer science, geology, and chemistry) and a doctorate in chemistry (as reported by ABC).
4. Marilyn vos Savant
Marilyn vos Savant was born in 1946 in Missouri. In 1986, the columnist and author made history when she was named in The Guinness Book of World Records as the person possessing the highest IQ, with a reported score of 228. Also, she is said to have achieved the score on the Stanford-Binet test at the age of ten.
In the mid 1980s, Savant also took the controversial Mega Test, scoring an IQ of 186. Then, in the wake of her newfound fame, Parade magazine launched the popular “Ask Marilyn” column, which still runs today. In addition, Savant has been a member of elite “one-in-a-million” IQ society, the Mega Society.
And in 1989 New York magazine called her and husband Robert Jarvik – who designed the first successful artificial heart – “the smartest couple in New York.”
5. Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson was born in New York in 1958 and loved astronomy from a young age. In 1980, he graduated from Harvard with a bachelor’s degree in physics. He went on to earn his master’s in astronomy from the University of Texas in 1983. He then went to Columbia, where he obtained his M.Phil. in astrophysics in 1989 and his Ph.D. two years later.
Now, he is a high-profile American astrophysicist and research associate at the American Museum of Natural History. He is also Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. In addition, Tyson achieved pop culture fame presenting educational PBS show NOVA ScienceNow from 2006 to 2011, and he has made numerous TV guest appearances.
The moral of the story? Lifelong learning is good for your brain, your career and your future.
Many of these people, who are considered some of the smartest people in the world, all went above and beyond in their education and grabbed every learning opportunity they could. It’s incredible what you can accomplish if you set your mind to something and use continuing education to achieve it.
Get Started on Your Path to Lifelong Learning
Download The CEU Group’s FREE guide on how to choose and register for the best courses for your career. Continuing education just got a little bit easier – Click here to download today.
This post was originally published on November 29, 2018.