Last updated on March 30th, 2022 at 10:03 pm

Odds are you’ve heard about Mensa. In a nutshell, it’s a group for extremely smart people. However, rumors and misconceptions about the group are plentiful. No, they aren’t planning on taking over the world or doing anything particularly nefarious—anyone capable of passing the entry tests can become a member.

The group was founded in 1946 by Dr. Lance Ware and Roland Berrill. The idea was to create a group for people with very high IQ scores to be able to meet one another, network, and socialize. And talk about quantum mechanics (probably). The group offers a number of other benefits, including access to a networking app called Mensa Connection, a vanity email address (“@member.mensa.org”), and, interestingly, unlimited miles from the car rental company Alamo—smart folks must travel a lot. However, at its core, the group is a social club for roughly 60,000 members who have proven that they have a high IQ.

And therein lies the rub for many of Mensa’s critics: the admission IQ tests must be paid for. It’s a relatively low fee, just $40, and yearly membership for those who pass costs $70. With this in mind, a number of pudits have panned the group for making the tests too easy to pass—despite Mensa’s requirement that test takers must fall within the 98th percentile to be accepted, which usually translates to an IQ score of 130 or higher. Some critics also point to the IQ system itself, with most agreeing that most IQ tests can be “studied” for in order to increase your score and aren’t an accurate representation of one’s innate mental capabilities.

It’s a common belief that celebrities such as Quentin Tarantino and Steve Martin are part of Mensa. However, this is just a prank – similar to the fake death announcements that sometimes circulate online. It seems people will believe anything these days.

Regardless of your position on Mensa, it’s attracted tens of thousands of members to join its ranks (and, no doubt, mention their membership at every opportunity they get). Among these members are a handful of famous people. We guarantee that you’ll be surprised when you learn who’s on the list!


Jacques Bergier (1912-1978) – Chemical engineer
Tilman Goins (1977-) – American politician
Henry Milligan (1958-) – Boxer and scholar
Glenne Headly (1955-) – Actress
Simon Ambrose (1980-) – Winner of UK Apprentice Show
Donald Petersen (1926-) – Former CEO of the Ford Motor Company
David Warburton (1965-) – composer and entrepreneur
Lucas di Grassi (1984-) – Brazilian race car driver
Richard Bolles (1927-) – Author
Viacheslav Dinerchtein (1976-) – Violist
Scott Sonnon (1969-) – Public speaker
Eileen Rose Busby (1922-2005) – Antiques expert
Andrzej Majewski (1966-) – Writer
Ellen Morphonios (1929-2002) – Judge
Roland Berrill (1897-1962) – Businessman, lawyer and co-founder of Mensa
Markus Persson (1979-) – Creator of the game Minecraft
Uroš Petrović (1967-) – Serbian author
Gareth Penn (1941-) – Author
Martin Cooper (1928-) – Mobile phone pioneer
Alfred George Hinds (1917-1991) – British criminal and prison escape artist
Scott Adams (1957-) – Creator of Dilbert cartoon
Scott “Raven” Levy (1964-) – Wrestler
Evangelos Katsioulis (1979-) – Psychiatrist
Leon Feingold (1973-) – Baseball player
Lucy Irvine (1956-) – Author of Castaway (turned into a movie staring Tom Hanks)
Rick DePiro (1967-) – Jazz performer
Jeremy Hanley (1945-) – British politician
C.J. de Mooi (1969-) – Profesional chess player
Antonella Gambotto-Burke (1965-) – Author
Ellen Muth (1981-) – Actress
Michael Muhney (1975-) – Actor
Per Nilsson (1974-) – Swedish guitar player
Alexander Crutchfield (1958-) – Businessman
Myles Jeffrey (1990-) – Actor
Nolan Gould (1998-) – The ‘dumb kid’ from Modern Family
Jimmy Savile (1926-2011) – English DJ
Brendan O’Carroll (1955-) – Comedian
Victor Serebriakoff (1912–2000) – Author
Ben Best – Businessman
Geena Davis (1956-) – Actress
Kara Hayward (1998-) – Actress
Nicky Piper (1966-) – Boxer
Lancelot Ware (1915–2000) – Barrister
Rolf Gindorf (1939-2016) – German sexologist
Margot Seitelman (1928–1989) – Former Mesna executive
Cyril Burt (1883-1971) – Educational psychologist
Emma Dumont (1994-) – Actress
Kym Jackson (1983-) – Actress
Adrian Cronauer (1938-) – Military DJ who inspired the movie ‘Good Morning, Vietnam’
Roger Zelazny (1937–1995) – Writer
Bernie LaBarge (1953-) – Musician
Adam Osborne (1939-2003) – Computer designer
Alexander Shulgin (1925-2014) – Medicinal chemist and introducer of MDMA (commonly known as ecstasy)
Laura Shields (1984-) – Actress
Julie Peterson (1964-) – Playboy Playmate
Charles Ingram (1963-) – Writer
Yank Azman (1947-) – Actor
Richard Lederer (1938-) – Author
James von Brunn (1920-2010) – White supremacist and mass shooter
Alan McFarland (1949-) – Former Minister of Legislative Assembly for North Down, United Kingdom
Erik Kuselias – Sportscaster for ESPN
Madsen Pirie (1940-) – Philosopher
Mike Carona (1955-) – Sheriff turned convicted felon
Asia Carrera (1973-) – Adult Actress
Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) – Author
Joyce Carol Oates (1938-) – Author
John McAfee (1945-) – Computer programmer who founded the McAfee anti-virus software
Roger Moreira (1956-) – Brazilian musician
Katariina Souri (1968-) – Finnish writer
T. Casey Brennan (1948-) – American cartoonist
Brian J. Ford (1939-) – Biologist
Barry Nolan (1947-) – Says You! tv show panelist
Dorota Rabczewska (1984-) – Polish singer
Ranan Lurie (1932-) – Editorial cartoonist
Marilyn vos Savant (1946-) – “Highest IQ” Guinness Book of World Records holder
Regan Mizrahi (2000-) – Voice of Boots in Dora the Explorer
Alan Rachins (1942-) – Actor
Mell Lazarus (1927–2016) – Cartoonist
Owen Spencer-Thomas (1940-) – Television broadcaster
Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. (1934–2012) – Retired US Army General
Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983) – Designer, architect
Nelson DeMille (1943-) – Author
Ashley Rickards (1992-) – Actress
Jack Cohen (1933-) – Reproductive biologist
Janet McDonald (1953-2007) – Lawyer
Theodore Bikel (1924–2015) – Actor
Bobby Czyz (1962-) – Boxer
Carol Vorderman (1960-) – British television presenter
Jean Auel (1936-) – Author
Leslie Charteris (1907–1993) – Writer
Clive Sinclair (1940-) – Inventor
E. Lee Spence (1947-) – Shipwreck expert
Derek Keith Barbosa (1974-) – Rapper
Maurice Kanbar (1930-) – Creator of Skyy Vodka