Kim Ung-yong

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Kim.
Kim Ung-yong
Revised Romanization Gim Ung-yong

Kim Ung-yong (born March 7, 1963[1]) is a South Korean civil engineer and former child prodigy. Kim was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records under "Highest IQ"; the book gave the boy's score as about 210. [2] Guinness retired the "Highest IQ" category in 1990 after concluding IQ tests were too unreliable to designate a single record holder.[3]

Early life[edit]

Kim Ung-Yong was born in Hongje-dong, Seoul, South Korea.[1] His father is Kim Soo-Sun,[1] a professor.[4] He started speaking at the age of 6 months and was able to read Japanese, Korean, German, English and many other languages by his third birthday.[citation needed] By the time he was four years old, his father claimed Ung-Yong had memorized about 2000 words in both English and German. He was writing poetry in Korean and Chinese, and wrote two very short books of essays and poems (less than 20 pages).[4]

Also when he was four years old, he scored over 200 on an IQ test normally given to seven-year-olds.[4][dubious ]

An article was published about him in Look magazine. After reading the article, a teacher[citation needed] and students at Grant High School in Los Angeles began writing to him. In February 1967 his father applied for Kim to be enrolled at Grant High School.[4]

In November 2, 1967, at the age of 5, he appeared on Fuji TV in Japan and amazed guests by solving Differential Equations. During that show, he wrote poems in different languages including English, Mandarin, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Japanese and Korean.

In 1970, he audited classes in Colorado School of Mines, and studied as non-degree Ph.D student for thermal physics and nuclear physics.

On November 5, 1977, Kim solved complicated differential and integral calculus problems on Japanese television.

From 1978 to 1980 he was a senior researcher for NASA, when he returned to South Korea .

Tired of US life, he returned to Korea and entered Chungbuk National University. He majored in civil engineering and received a Ph.D degree. He is listed in Marquis Who's Who in the World 23rd ed and IBC[disambiguation needed] chosen 21s top scientist 2000.

As of 2007 he also serves as adjunct faculty at Chungbuk National University. In March 14, 2014, he became associate professor in Shinhan University, and became vice president of North Kyeong-gi Development Research Center.

Present day[edit]

Today he lives a quiet life. He is father to two sons. He claims that even his coworkers didn't know that he was a well-known prodigy in his early childhood, since he never talks about it. In a recent interview with MBC on September 8, 2012, he claimed that the media have exaggerated many facts about his life.

On September 30, 2014, he appeared in a quiz show 1 vs 100 in KBS 2TV.


  1. ^ a b c "Kim, Ung-Yong". Marquis Who's Who in America. 2012. 
  2. ^ "What ever became of 'geniuses'?". Time. December 19, 1977. Retrieved 2011-05-14. South Korea's Kim Ung-Yong, a 14-year-old prodigy who was speaking four languages and solving integral calculus problems at age four, is said to tip the mental scales at 210, worth a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records. 
  3. ^ Knight, Sam (10 April 2009). "Is a high IQ a burden as much as a blessing?". Financial Times (Financial Times Ltd). Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Korean genius, 4, poses problem for high school". The Washington Post. AP. April 10, 1967. 

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