Michael Kearney became known as the worlds youngest college graduate at the age of 10. In 2008, Kearney earned $1,000,000 on the television game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
Michael Kevin Kearney (born January 18, 1984, in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA) is a former child prodigy known for setting several world records and teaching college at the age of 17.
He spoke his first words at four months. At the age of six months, he said to his pediatrician have a left ear infection and learned to read at the age of ten months. When Michael was four, he was given diagnostic tests for the Johns Hopkins precocious math program. Without having studied specifically for the exam, he achieved a perfect score.
He was homeschooled by his mother and father, especially his mother, a Japanese American. He was diagnosed with ADHD and his parents declined to use the offered prescription of Ritalin. His younger sister, Maeghan, is also a child prodigy.
He attended San Marin High School in Novato, California, for one year, graduating at the age of six in 1990. He enrolled at Santa Rosa Junior College in Sonoma County, California, graduating at age 8 with an Associate of Science in Geology. He is listed in the Guinness Book as the world’s youngest university graduate at the age of ten, receiving a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of South Alabama.
He finished high school at age 6, enrolled at Santa Rosa Junior College graduating at 10 with an Associate of Science in Geology. He is listed in the Guinness Book as the worlds youngest university graduate at the age of 10, receiving a bachelors degree in anthropology. For a while, he also held the record for the worlds youngest postgraduate.
He graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a master’s degree in biochemistry at the age of 14. His 118-page thesis is entitled “Kinetic Isotope Effects of Thymidine Phosphorylase”. His research focused on the kinetics of a glycosyltransferase involved in nucleotide synthesis. For a while, he was the world’s youngest postgraduate and the holder of several Guinness world records, but the master’s degree record was broken by Tathagat Avatar Tulsi.
In October 2006, he became worldwide famous after reaching the finals on the Mark Burnett/AOL quiz/puzzle game Gold Rush, and became the first $1 million winner in the online reality game.
In November 2006, in front of a national audience on Entertainment Tonight, he went on to win the grand prize of an additional $1,000,000.
Kearney was also a contestant on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? which aired on April 25 & 28, 2008. He left with $25,000.
Kearney was also a contestant on Million Dollar Password which aired on June 14, 2009, but did not pass the elimination round after losing in the tiebreaker.