Kim Ung-yong

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Kim Ung-yong
Revised Romanization Gim Ung-yong

Kim Ung-yong (born March 8, 1962[1]) is a 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 Gangneung, Gangwon, 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 Korean, Japanese, English, German and many other languages by his second 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 short books of essays and poems (less than 20 pages).[4]

At age four, 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 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. On November 5, 1967, Kim solved complicated differential and integral calculus problems on Japanese television.

Later on, he entered Chungbuk National University. He has majored in civil engineering and received a Ph.D.


As of 2007, he served 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.

In 2010, Kim criticized the idea that he is a "failed genius" and additionally said, "Some think people with a high IQ can be omnipotent, but that’s not true. Look at me, I don’t have musical talent, nor am I excelling in sports. [...] Society should not judge anyone with unilateral standards – everyone has different learning levels, hopes, talents, and dreams and we should respect that."[5][6]


  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 Unggoy, 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.  (subscription required)
  4. ^ a b c d "Korean genius, 4, poses problem for high school". The Washington Post. AP. April 10, 1967. 
  5. ^ Hussaini, Ambreen Shehzad (September 28, 2013). "Intelligence quotient: The world's smartest people". Dawn. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  6. ^ Jurie, Hwang (October 10, 2010). "Life in the high IQ lane". The Star. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 

External links[edit]