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8 People Who Received Their PhDs Before Age 20


 Illustration by Christian Sager
Illustration by Christian Sager

One of the most important lessons I learned in graduate school was that having a PhD does not make someone a genius. More than anything it's indicative of discipline and perseverance. In the case of child prodigies who push that hard, it can lead to dysfunction with their family or a falling out with academia. Not every kid genius is happy, but these eight individuals show us how they came out on the other side, dedicated to improving the world around them.