Marilyn Vos Savant’s IQ Is 228, Marilyn vos Savant (born August 11, 1946) is an American magazine columnist, author, lecturer, and playwright who rose to fame through her listing in the Guinness Book of World Records under “Highest IQ”. Since 1986 she has written “Ask Marilyn”, a Sunday column in Parade magazine in which she solves puzzles and answers questions from readers on a variety of subjects.
Vos Savant was born Marilyn Mach in St. Louis, Missouri, to Joseph Mach and Marina vos Savant, who had immigrated to the United States from Germany and Italy respectively. Vos Savant believes that both men and women should keep their premarital surnames for life, with sons taking their fathers’ surnames and daughters their mothers’. The word “savant”, meaning a person of learning, appears twice in her family: her maternal grandmother’s maiden name was Savant, while her maternal grandfather’s surname was vos Savant. Vos Savant is of Italian, German, and Austrian ancestry – she is a descendant of physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach.
As a teenager, vos Savant spent her time working in her father’s general store and enjoyed writing and reading. She sometimes wrote articles and subsequently published them under a pseudonym in the local newspaper, stating that she did not want to misuse her name for work that she perceived to be imperfect. When she was 16 years old, vos Savant married a university student, but the marriage ended in a divorce when she was in her twenties. Her second marriage ended when she was 35.
Vos Savant studied philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis despite her parents’ desire for her to pursue a more useful subject. After two years, she dropped out to help with a family investment business, seeking financial freedom to pursue a career in writing.
Vos Savant moved to New York City in the 1980s. Before her weekly column in Parade, vos Savant wrote the Omni I.Q. Quiz Contest for Omni, which contained “I.Q. quizzes” and expositions on intelligence and intelligence testing.
Vos Savant married her third husband, Robert Jarvik (one of the developers of the Jarvik-7 artificial heart), in 1987 and lives with him in New York City. Vos Savant was Chief Financial Officer of Jarvik Heart, Inc. She has served on the Board of Directors of the National Council on Economic Education, on the advisory boards of the National Association for Gifted Children and the National Women’s History Museum, and as a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. She was named by Toastmasters International as one of the “Five Outstanding Speakers of 999”, and in 2003 received an honorary Doctor of Letters from The College of New Jersey.