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10 Lesser-known Prodigies Who Shook Up the World With Their Genius

4. Michael Kevin Kearney – Kearney was the world’s youngest college graduate and winner of $1 million in prize money.

Image credits: MrMichaelKearney/Youtube

This child prodigy is the youngest to graduate from college at the age of six. Born on January 18, 1984, he was diagnosed with ADHD. He was homeschooled and spoke his first words when he was four months old.

By the age of 14, he had a master’s degree in biochemistry and a master’s degree in computer science by the age of 17. At the age of 22, he got his doctorate in chemistry and became a teaching assistant at Middle Tennessee State University.

Kearney has participated in many game shows, winning prize money of up to $1 million.


5. Colin Carlson – Carlson was the winner of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship and sued his college for discriminating based on his age.

Colin Carlson
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Born in 1996, Colin Carlson won the Harry S. Truman Scholarship at the age of 14. This former child prodigy is well known for suing the University of Connecticut at the age of 13 for age discrimination as he was not allowed to take a study field trip in Africa.

He is a Ph.D. from the University of California and works on geo-engineering and emerging infectious diseases. He is currently an assistant research professor at Georgetown University.



6. Felix Mendelssohn – Mendelssohn was a musical prodigy who is now considered one of the greatest composers of the romantic era.

Felix Mendelssohn
Image credits: Wilhelm Hensel/Wikimedia

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy was a German composer and a musical prodigy. Born on 3 February 1809 to a well-known Jewish family, he was baptized as a Reformed Christian by the age of seven.

He is famous for composing string symphonies, operas, major piano sonatas, various overtures, and incidental music. He started doing all of this even before reaching the age of 18 years.

He is an established figure of the early Romantic period and known to have resuscitated interest in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. He traveled throughout Europe and performed concerts.

His notable works include Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Italian Symphony, the Scottish Symphony, a violin concerto, two piano concerti, the oratorio Elijah, and many pieces of chamber music.


Over the last 50 years, his work has gained more popularity, although it is sometimes overshadowed by the work of Beethoven and Schumann.


7. Paul Erdös – Erdös was a legendary Hungarian mathematician known for his eccentric lifestyle and social practice of mathematics.

Paul Erdos
Image credits: Kmhkmh/Wikipedia

Known as one of the most inventive mathematicians, Paul Erdös was born on 26 March 1913 in Budapest, Hungary. Both his parents were mathematics teachers, and that is where his early training began.

He enrolled in the University of Budapest by the age of 17 and found a proof for Chebyshev’s Theorem by the age of 20. By the time he was 21, he already had a doctorate in mathematics.

He is famous for his work in number theory and combinatorics, and also for cracking many unsolved problems. Many people believed that he was an eccentric who lived and breathed mathematics.

He passed away on 20 September 1996, but even during his last hours, he solved a geometry problem in a conference in Warsaw, Poland.



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