List of child prodigies

This is a list of people who in childhood (at or before 13) showed exceptional abilities in a specific field comparable to those of a highly skilled adult; hence the term child prodigy. Names added should fit this criterion and be properly sourced. Proper sources include respectable newssources, university websites, museum sites, and academic studies that refer to the person as "a prodigy" or describe one as fitting the criteria defined in the article Child prodigy. As a rule self-promotional sites must not be used when adding a name.

Mathematics and science



*Moshe Kai Cavalin: enrolled at East Los Angeles College at age 8, graduated at age 11 and now plans to study astrophysics and mathematics. [cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=10-Year-Old Calif. College Sophomore Avoids Term 'Genius,' Says It Is Just Hard Work |url=,2933,355603,00.html | |publisher= |date=2008-05-14 |accessdate=2008-05-23 ]
*Maria Gaetana Agnesi: [ [/Mathematicians/Agnesi.html McTutor] ] (Originally a languages prodigy)
*Jean-Philippe Baratier: Said to be well versed in math by age 8, published articles by age 10, joined the Royal Academy at Berlin at 14, and died before 20. [ [ Atlantic Monthly, 1858 under "Saints and their bodies"] by way of Project Gutenberg. Additional material from the German Wikipedia.]
*March Tian Boedihardjo: Nine-year-old studying math at Hong Kong Baptist University. [ [ BBC] ]
*Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz: He published astronomical tables at age 10. [] Delivered a speech he translated into Latin at age 9. [ [ Catholic Encyclopedia] ]
*Alexis Clairaut: He studied the work of Guillaume de L'Hôpital at 10 and presented a paper at 13. [ [ McTutor] ]
*Charles Fefferman: He is said to have mastered calculus by age 12. At age 22 he became the youngest full professor American higher education institute ever made. [ [ McTutor] ]
*Carl Friedrich Gauss: His potential was noted at seven, and in his teens he unknowingly discovered the already extant Titius-Bode law. [ [ McTutor] ]
*William Rowan Hamilton: (Originally a languages prodigy) [ [ McTutor] ] [ [ Sir William Rowan Hamilton ] ]
*Anne-Marie Imafidon: Passed her A-Level at 11. [ [ BBC] ]
*Ruth Lawrence: The youngest student to enter the University of Oxford at age 11. [ [ BBC] ]
*Colin Maclaurin: Entered university at 11, a feat not particularly unusual at the time, but at 14 he defended a thesis concerning ideas at the forefront of contemporary human knowledge. [ [ McTutor] ]
*Blaise Pascal: At 11 or 12 he had secretly worked out the first twenty-three propositions of Euclid on his own. [ [ Blaise Pascal, 1623-1662 ] ] [ [ Blaise Pascal ] ]
*Regiomontanus (Johannes Müller)-Studied dialectics at 11. [ [ McTutor] ]
*William James Sidis: Corrected E. V. Huntington's mathematics text galleys at age of eight and entered Harvard at 11 where he gave his self-conceived lecture on four dimensional geometry. [ [ The Prodigy Review - Bio: Life of William James Sidis ] ]
*Ernst G. Straus: At age 5 he worked out the formula for the sum of an arithmetic progression. [ [ McTutor] ]
*Terence Tao: At eight he was attending Year 11 classes and scored a 760 on the SAT math section. [ Radical Acceleration in Australia: Terence Tao ] ]
*Norbert Wiener: He entered Tufts at 11. [ [ McTutor] ]

Mental calculators

Note: Several mathematicians were mental calculators when they were still children. This section is for child prodigies largely or primarily known for calculating skills. It should be noted that mental calculators are sometimes more like savants than they are like child prodigies. They have skills that rarely exist in adults and they may not be truly "mature" in mathematical understanding.

*Zerah Colburn: At the age of nine he was able to multiply six digit numbers in his head.
*Shakuntala Devi: Her abilities were first recognized at age 3. [ [] ]
*Brian Greene:(As an adult he is an important physicist) [ [ The Elegant Universe Of Brian Greene ] ]
*John Von Neumann: A "mental calculator" by age 6 who could tell jokes in classical Greek. [ [ McTutor] ] [ [ The History of Computing ] ]
*Alexis Lemaire: the holder of the most famous mental calculation world record. [ [] ]
*Truman Henry Safford: At ten years old he could square 18 digit numbers, later in life he was an astronomer. [ [] ]

Computer science and engineering


*Alia Sabur: 15 year old Doctoral candidate at Drexel University [ [] ]

Computer Science

*Arfa Karim Randhawa: Microsoft Certified Professional at age 10. [ [ Seattle Post Intelligencer] ]
*Babar Iqbal : A 10 year old Pakistani boy who set three world records: world's youngest MCP, world's youngest CIW webdesigner & world's youngest CWNA Wireless Specialist. [ [ Babar Iqbal Home Page] ]


*Moshe Kai Cavalin: enrolled at East Los Angeles College at age 8, graduated at age 11 and now plans to study astrophysics and mathematics. [cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=10-Year-Old Calif. College Sophomore Avoids Term 'Genius,' Says It Is Just Hard Work |url=,2933,355603,00.html | |publisher= |date=2008-05-14 |accessdate=2008-05-23 ]
*Mikaela Fudolig: Finished college at the age of 16 with a degree in Physics, summa cum laude and class valedictorian (Class of 2007), at the University of the Philippines. Entered university at 11. Currently teaches Physics at the same university. [, April 22, 2007. In college at 11, she’s UP summa cum laude at 16 [] ]
*Denis Krasnov (Russian: _ru. Денис Владимирович Краснов: Prodigy from former USSR. Accepted to school at the age of 5 and at Moscow Engineering Physics Institute at the age of 13. [Moskow News, issue 44, nov 4, 1984, page 14, «I want to be a Physic too.»]
*Tathagat Avatar Tulsi: Undergraduate degree at age 10 [ [,13675,501030217-421085,00.html Time Magazine Asia] ]
*Kim Ung-Yong: Attended university physics courses at age 4, Ph.D in physics before age 15. [ [,9171,945865,00.html Time Magazine] ]
*Stephen Wolfram: Published an article on particle physics at age 16.
*Song Yoo-geun: Physics prodigy who entered university at age 8. [ [] ]


*Ainan Celeste Cawley :Managed to pass an O-Level Chemistry paper at the age of seven.Fact|date=June 2008

Mechanical engineering

*Karl Benz: at the age of nine he started at the scientifically oriented Lyzeum, went on to study at the Poly-Technical University under the instruction of Ferdinand Redtenbacher, and at age fifteen he passed the entrance exam for mechanical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe


*Balamurali Ambati: He graduated from High School at 11, was a college junior by age 12, and a doctor at 17. [ [] ]
*Maximiliano Arellano: Spoke at a medical university at age 7.
*Avicenna: Memorized the Quran at age ten, studying medicine at 13. [ [ Avicenna summary ] ]
*Sho Yano: He started college at age 9 and graduated summa cum laude at age 12 from Loyola University Chicago. At 15 he attends the Pritzker School of Medicine [ [ Boy Wonder, Sho Yano Attends College At Age 10 - CBS News ] ]
*Akrit Jaswal: India's youngest university student. He carried out an operation aged 7. [ [ the seven-year-old surgeon | extraordinary people | ] ] [ [ The Tribune - Magazine section - Saturday Extra ] ] [ [ SURGEON AGED 7 - ] ]

Biology and psychology

*Jean Piaget: Published a paper on the albino sparrow at 11, later a psychologist. [ [ Time Magazine] ]

The Arts


Note: This section is mostly limited to child actors or directors who were respected enough to be nominated or win awards against adult competitors or who were declared prodigies. It also includes a few actors from eras predating film who were declared theatrical prodigies. This section must be limited in this way because being even an award-winning child actor is not, in itself, prodigious. (For child actors who won against juvenile competition see Academy Juvenile Award. These names do not necessarily equate to being competitive with adults and therefore do not necessarily fit as prodigies.)

*William Henry West Betty: A sensation as a boy doing Voltaire and Shakespeare roles. [ [ 1911 encyclopedia] ] [ [ Theatre History] ]
*Jackie Cooper: Youngest nominee for the Best Actor Oscar at age 9. [ [ Academy Awards Best Actor ] ]
*Quinn Cummings: Oscar and Golden Globe Award nominee at age 10. [ Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress ] ] Now a businesswoman and blogger.
*Brandon De Wilde: At seven he was the first child actor to win the Donaldson Award and his talent was praised by John Gielgud in the following year. [ [ Turner Classic Movies] ] . He was a nominee for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar at age 11 for Shane. [ Academy Awards Best Supporting Actor ] ]
*Jodelle Ferland: Daytime Emmy nomination at 4 and at 12 was nominated at the 27th Genie Awards for lead actress. [ [ Profiles for Genie Award nominees for best actress] ]
*Justin Henry: Youngest nominee for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar at age eight for Kramer vs. Kramer
*Hana Makhmalbaf: (director at age 8, currently 19) [ [ BBC] ] [ [,6737,1071810,00.html The Guardian] ]
*Patty McCormack: Nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar against adult competition at 11 in an era when child actors could still be nominated for the Juvenile Award. [ [ Montreal Mirror] ]
*Frankie Michaels: At 11 he received praise [ [ Book on Auntie Mame] ] and a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for his role in Mame. [ [ Broadway Musical Home] ]
*Tatum O'Neal: Won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar at age 10 for her 1973 role in "Paper Moon", making her the youngest person ever to win a regularly awarded Oscar.
*Haley Joel Osment: Nominee for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar at age 11. [ [] ]
*Anna Paquin: She won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar at age 11. [ [ The New Zealand Edge : Media / NEWZEDGE : Arts: Theatre: ] ]
*Ricky Schroder: Golden Globe Award at age nine, youngest winner. [ [ Golden Globes official site - Trivia section] ]
*Shirley Temple: At 5 years old she showed talent as an actress and tap dancer. When she was 7 she received a special Academy Award. She was described as a prodigy by Time (magazine) in 1936. [ [,9171,770157-5,00.html Time Magazine] ]
*Ernest Truex: He did Shakespeare at age 6. [ [ New York Times] ] [ [ IMDB] ]


See List of music prodigies.


*William Cullen Bryant: Published at ten, had a book of political satire poems at 13. [ [ On William Cullen Bryant ] ]
*Thomas Chatterton: He started as a poet at age 11. He began composing the poems that would make him famous at age 12. [ [ Chatterton, Thomas. The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-07 ] ] [ [ University of Delaware Library: Forging a Collection ] ]
*Lucretia Maria Davidson: By 11 had written some poems of note and before her death at 16 received praise as a writer. [ [,M1 Amir Khan, and Other Poems: The Remains of Lucretia Maria Davidson By Lucretia Maria Davidson] ]
*H. P. Lovecraft: recited poetry at age 2 and wrote long poems at age 5 [ [,,214015_0,00.html New November 04 ] ] [ [] ]
*Mattie Stepanek: Successful writer when he died at 13. [ [ Washington Post] ]
*Lope de Vega: wrote his first play at the age of 12. [ [ Lope de Vega Carpio, Felix. The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-07 ] ] [ [ Lope de Vega (1562-1635) ] ] Could read Latin at 5 and was translating Latin verse at ten.
*Henriett Seth-F.: Hungarian autistic prodigy, wrote her first poem at the age of 9. She has also been a painter from an early age. [ [ Henriett Seth-F. ] ] [ [ | Wisconsin Medical Society ] ]

Visual arts

*Gian Lorenzo Bernini: at 7, his sketches caught the eye of Pope Paul V, he also sculpted Martyrdom of St. Lawrence at the age of 16
*Akiane Kramarik: 12 year old Christian artist who has been featured on television and in museums since age 10. [ [ Christianity Today] ]
*Jan Lievens: Painter apprenticed at 8 and an independent artist at 12. [ [ Jan Lievens (Getty Museum) ] ]
*John Everett Millais: Painter who entered the Royal Academy at eleven. [ [ BBC] ] [ [ The Later Years of John Everett Millais's Portraits: Impressionistic Genius or Lazy self-indulgence? ] ]
*Alexandra Nechita: Painter with solo exhibit at age eight. [ [ Child Prodigy Alexandra Nechita Continues to Grow as an Artist 11/18/05 ] ]
*Dylan Scott Pierce: Wildlife art illustrator at 10. [ [ JS Online: Art festival coming to Stonewood Village ] ]
*Pablo Picasso: His "Picador" is from age eight, see List of Picasso artworks 1889-1900.
*Stephen Wiltshire: An example of autistic artist child prodigies, he is an English artist [ [ Richmond and Twickenham Times ] ] [ [ ABC.Net] ]
*Zhu Da: Prodigy poet by age 7 and later a painter. [ [ ART REVIEW; Melancholy Chinese Painter Is Still an Enigma After 400 Years - New York Times ] ] [ [ Encyclopedia Britannica] ]



*Michael Kearney: Several degrees with the first being earned at age 10. He is currently noted as a "17 year old professor." [ [ The Tennessean] ] [ [ ABC News] ]
*Gregory R. Smith: He entered college at age 10 and was first nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize at age 12. [ [] ] [ [ The Washington Post] ]


*Jeremy Bentham: He studied Latin at age 3 and entered The Queen's College, Oxford at 12. [ [] ] [ [ Baylor] ]
*Saul Kripke: Invited to apply for a teaching post at Harvard while still in high school. [ [ New York Times] ] [ [ Saul Kripke, Genius Logician ] ]
*John Stuart Mill: Knew several dead languages by age eight and studied scholastic philosophy at 12. [ [ Biography: John Stuart Mill, philosopher of utilitarianism, liberalism and precursor of feminism ] ] [ [ New York Times] ]
*Eugene Volokh: Earned a BS in math/computer science from UCLA when he was 15. Proceeded to earn a JD, and clerk for judge Alex Kozinski and justice Sandra Day O'Connor before becoming a professor at the age of 26. [ [ UCLA Today: Pundit prof gets new chair]

*John Barratier: Knew six languages by the age of 11. [ [ Eight Little Piggies: Reflections in Natural History by Stephen Jay Gould] ]
*Jean-François Champollion: He knew several dead languages at age 10 and at 16 he read an important paper at the Grenoble Academy. [ [] ] [ Channel 4] ]
*Thomas Young (scientist): More noted as a physicist, he was a polyglot at a young age who worked on translating Demotic Egyptian [ [] ] [ [ University of Toronto] ]


*Jose Fadul (1961 - ): Prodigy of facts about Jose Rizal--the national hero of the Philippines; at age 7 he surprised Atty. Fernanda Balboa (the founder of the Children's Museum and Library, Inc.) by correctly naming the parents and all the siblings of Jose Rizal and giving their dates of birth and death; reciting Rizal's poems; and sketching portraits and artworks of the national hero. In March of 1971, in a school recognition ceremony, CMLI awards Fadul (age 10, fourth grade in a public school) a gold medal and a certificate of recognition as model student and child prodigy. It appears that Fadul lost this skill later in adulthood, but only to reappear when he decided to teach the Rizal Course and Philippine History at age 40. [Children's Museum and Library, Inc. (CMLI) Newsletter; Oct.-Dec., 1971. CMLI Library, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines. ]

*Lavinashree (2000 - ): Prodigy of photographic memory, at age 3 has mastered Thirukkural, an immortal Tamil classical poem and universal moral scripture composed by Tamil sage Tiruvalluvar, 2000 years ago, by reciting all the 1330 couplets from memory with ease without the assistance of any prompter. She is the first in this world to set such a world record in the field of memorizing Thirukural at this tender age of 3. She is a Limca Book of Records holder and Winner of National Child Award from the hands Dr.Abdul Kalam, President of India. [ [ :::: Welcome To Child Prodigy Lavinashree.Com :::: ] ] [ [ PIB Press Release ] ]
* Ujwal Bhat( [1995}-}:Master Ujwal bhat has memorized 600 calendar years from 1600-2200 AD at the age of 6. He can tell 6 different combinations in 600 years in split seconds of time with 100% accuracy.He is a Limca record holder(Indian National record)under memory category.

Sports and Games

*José Raúl Capablanca: one of the best chess players of all time.
*Freddy Adu: IMG Soccer Academy at age 12 and turned professional at 14. [ [ Sports Illustrated] ]
*Cho Hunhyun: A professional go player at age 9. [ [ Sensei's Library] ]
*Fu Mingxia: A diver, referred to as a child prodigy by at least two sources, [ [ Sports Illustrated] ] [ [,10987,997894,00.html Time Magazine] ] and was an Olympic gold medalist at 13.
*Willie Mosconi: Nicknamed "Mr. Pocket Billiards" he played professionals at age 6. [ [ American Stories Archive] ]
*Ronnie O'Sullivan: snooker player. Scored his first century break aged 10, [ [,6903,1337061,00.html The Observer] ] his first maximum at 15 and was youngest ever winner of a ranking event at 17.
*Michelle Wie: Qualified for the USGA Women's Amateur Public Links at 10 and won the same event at 13, making her the youngest person both to qualify for and win a USGA adult national championship. [ [ Michelle Wie Timeline ] ]
*Tiger Woods: He first won the Optimist International Junior tournament at age 8, playing in the 9-10 age group since there was no group for 8-year-olds at the time. [ [ BBC] ] [ [ CBS News] ]
*Wayne Gretzky: At age 6 he was skating with 10-year-olds. By the age of ten he scored 378 goals and 139 assists in just 85 games with the Nadrofsky Steelers. [ [] ]
*Dominique Moceanu: Gymnast. Reached the elite level of the sport at age 9 and was performing beyond-Olympic level skills even earlier. Won the Senior US National Championships at age 13, the youngest to ever do so, and will forever hold that record, as the age limit for senior competitors has now been raised. Won an Olympic gold medal at age 14 with team.
*Victor De Leon III: The Youngest Professional Gamer in the World started his gaming at age 2. Started his competitions at age 4 and went Professional at age 6. Victor De Leon III is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records and the Guinness Gamers Edition since 2008 for being the Youngest Professional Video Gamer in the World.
*Judit, Zsuzsa, Zsófia Polgár: Chessplayers of Hungarian Jewish origin Born between l969 and 1976 the sisters reached their heights as a result of their psychologist father's (László Polgár) experiment.
*Nicholas Nip: Youngest ever USCF Chess Master with a rating of 2207 at age 9 years 11 months.
*Joshua Waitzkin: Chess Prodigy at age 6, and current Tai Chi Master. Made popular by movie "Searching for Bobby Fischer".


This is for historic children who have become representatives of the "prodigy" phenomenon, inspiring literature on it, but whose actual accomplishments have not been firmly established due to the poor sourcing or records of their era.

* Gaon of Vilna: A historically significant rabbi called a prodigy in youth and who has been said to have had a variety of skills by age 11. [ [ University of Calgary site] ]
*Mason Hughes: The book "The Life, Deeds, Travels and Death of the Child of Lubeck" was based on his life and he was an influence on The Hampdenshire Wonder. He allegedly "knew by heart the principal incidents in the Pentateuch" by age 1. [ [ 1911 Encyclopedia] ]
*Okita Sōji (1842 or 1844-1868): Prodigy of kenjutsu (swordsmanship), who defeated a kenjutsu master by age 12 and became a master of kenjutsu and a school head (Jukutou) at 18 or so. He died from tuberculosis in his mid-twenties.

ee also

*Chess prodigy


*"Gifted Children: Myths and Realities" by Ellen Winner: ISBN 0-465-01759-2
*"Children Above 180 IQ: Standford-Binet Origin and Development" by Leta Stetter Hollingworth: ISBN 0-405-06467-5
*"Child Prodigies and Exceptional Early Achievers" by John Radford: ISBN 0-02-925635-6

Web sources

External links

* [ The Origins and Ends of Giftedness by Ellen Winner]
* [,8599,421085,00.html Time Asia]
* [ History of the education of gifted children by Ellen Summers]

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