U.S. First Ladies That Are Probably Smarter Than Their Husbands

List Rules
Vote up the First Ladies you strongly suspect were smarter than the commanders in chief.

When they say behind every great man lies a great woman, it comes as no stretch to assume the smartest First Ladies of the United States outranked their husbands in terms of intelligence. Though they may not lead the country, the First Lady involves herself in politics, human welfare, and numerous other roles that require her intelligence as much as her poise. As the other half of the president, it stands to reason she too influences his decisions. With that in mind, which First Lady was the smartest? 

As First Lady of the United States, the President's wife constantly finds herself under public scrutiny. Although no official roles exist for First Ladies, many of the smartest First Ladies stepped up to take on all sorts of responsibilities including helping with political campaigns, managing the White House, and leading social causes. Some notable First Ladies include Hillary Clinton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama, and Jacqueline Kennedy. Some First Ladies even launched their own political careers, lending more credence to the idea that the smart wives of presidents may not outrank them in security clearance, but they definitely do in brains.

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Ranked by
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
    1
    Dec. at 78 (1884-1962)
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
  • Laura Bush
    2
    Age: 75
    • Birthplace: Midland, Texas, United States of America
  • Abigail Adams
    3
    Dec. at 73 (1744-1818)
    • Birthplace: Weymouth, Massachusetts, United States of America
  • Dolley Madison
    4
    Dec. at 81 (1768-1849)
    • Birthplace: Greensboro, North Carolina, United States of America
  • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
    5
    Dec. at 64 (1929-1994)
    • Birthplace: Southampton, New York, United States of America
  • Barbara Bush
    6
    • Birthplace: Flushing, New York City, New York, United States of America
  • Michelle Obama
    7
    • Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Betty Ford
    8
    Dec. at 93 (1918-2011)
    • Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
  • Hillary Clinton
    9
    • Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
  • Nancy Reagan
    10
    Dec. at 94 (1921-2016)
    • Birthplace: New York, New York, USA
  • Melania Trump
    11
    • Birthplace: Sevnica, Slovenia
  • Rosalynn Carter
    12
    • Birthplace: Plains, Georgia, United States of America
  • Lady Bird Johnson
    13
    Dec. at 94 (1912-2007)
    • Birthplace: Karnack, Texas, United States of America
  • Edith Wilson
    14
    Dec. at 89 (1872-1961)
    • Birthplace: Wytheville, Virginia, USA
  • Pat Nixon
    15
    Dec. at 81 (1912-1993)
    • Birthplace: Ely, Nevada
  • Martha Washington
    16
    Dec. at 70 (1731-1802)
    • Birthplace: Chestnut Grove
  • Mamie Eisenhower
    17
    Dec. at 82 (1896-1979)
    • Birthplace: Des Moines Township, Boone, Iowa, USA
  • Edith Roosevelt
    18
    Dec. at 87 (1861-1948)
    • Birthplace: Norwich, Connecticut, United States of America
  • Bess Truman
    19
    Dec. at 97 (1885-1982)
    • Birthplace: Independence, Missouri, USA
  • Grace Coolidge
    20
    Dec. at 78 (1879-1957)
    • Birthplace: Burlington, Vermont, USA
  • Sarah Childress Polk
    21
    Dec. at 87 (1803-1891)
    • Birthplace: Murfreesboro, Tennessee, United States of America
  • Ida Saxton McKinley
    22
    Dec. at 59 (1847-1907)
    • Birthplace: Canton, Ohio, USA
  • Lou Henry Hoover
    23
    Dec. at 69 (1874-1944)
    • Birthplace: Waterloo, Iowa, USA
  • Hannah Van Buren
    24
    Dec. at 35 (1783-1819)
    • Birthplace: Columbia County, Kinderhook, Contiguous United States, New York, United States of America
  • Ellen Wilson
    25