W. J. Sidis

William James Sidis (pronounced “SIGH-dis”), child prodigy, book author, eccentric (1898-1944)

William James Sidis

Was a classmate of R. Buckminster Fuller. Was treated as a “sinister” genius when young, receiving bad publicity and press. Could read The New York Times at age 1.5 and invented his own language, Vendergood. Attended Harvard in 1909, setting a record as youngest enrolled student there (graduated cum laude 1914). Father was Dr. Boris Sidis, MD, important early psychologist.

Called “The greatest mind ever,” “the smartest person on earth”; had an IQ between 250 and 300 and today is largely forgotten. [article] [wikipedia] [short bio] [FAQ]

The main Sidis biography is The Prodigy by Amy Wallace [review] but he’s also the subject of the new digital book Myths, Facts, and Lies About Prodigies: A Historiography of William James Sidis by Larry Gowdy (Woven Strings Publishing 2007). [kindle]

The W. J. Sidis Archives contain his books, letters, articles and other writings.

Sidis had a special connection with the Wampum — he wrote on and studied the history of North America and had an apparent “mystical relationship” (scroll down) with these Indians, in particular the liberty-loving Okamakammesset tribe in ancient New England.

Books and writings

Sidis’ actual writings can be difficult to obtain.

Book of Vendergood describes the language invented by Sidis. Book written when Sidis was eight.

The Animate and the Inanimate is a book about cosmology and astrophysics and has been called “a devastating blow to the Big Bang theory.” In 1979, this book received high praise and endorsement from Bucky Fuller. First edition is exceedingly rare.

The Tribes and the States, a 100,000-year history of North America. (Originally published under pseudonym John W. Shattuck)

Books with a passing mention to Sidis



First published on February 19th, 2009 at 1:10 pm (EST) and last modified on February 26th, 2009 at 10:36 am (EST).