Education: Prodigious Failure

Within two years after William James Sidis' father gave him alphabet blocks, he was writing French and English on a typewriter. He was then four. At five, employing a formula of his own devising, he could instantly name the day of the week on which any date in history fell. When he was six his mother surrendered him to a first-grade teacher. The teacher promptly surrendered to William. The most famous infant prodigy of his generation knew more about fractions than she did.

Intellectual Jack Rabbit. At nine, having attended high school for less...

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