The issue of the intellectual prowess of Presidents is a significant one, in a time of a President who does not display much intellectual interest or talents.
Of course, ability to write and communicate in diaries or in books is not the only area of competence for a President, but we are fortunate that so many Presidents contributed to our nation in their writings.
First, however, is which Presidents did NOT contribute any significant writings in print or in diaries, although many left behind a massive amount of manuscripts, which historians have utilized in their published books on Presidents.
The list would include, chronologically, the following 20 Presidents.
Martin Van Buren
William Henry Harrison
Rutherford B. Hayes
James A. Garfield
Chester Alan Arthur
William Howard Taft
Warren G. Harding
Franklin D. Roosevelt
A long list of Presidents (24) wrote diaries, Memoirs, or autobiographies, or other published works in their lifetime, or after their deaths, including, chronologically:
John Quincy Adams
James K. Polk
Ulysses S. Grant
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
George H. W. Bush
George W. Bush
Of all of these 24 who contributed published works, only a few, however, were voluminous, substantial, and could be described as prolific.
John Quincy Adams, with his 69 year diary in 48 volumes, would be one such case.
James K. Polk. with his 4 volume diary, would be another.
Theodore Roosevelt was extremely active as an author, and Woodrow Wilson was an active academic, which explains his large amount of publishing.
Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter, all with long retirements, were prolific, and Carter has continued to be so.
Barack Obama is expected to join this group of prolific authors, and had two books before his Presidency, similar to John F. Kennedy, who clearly would have contributed more, had he not been assassinated.
So this is a summary of the literary intellectual life of our 44 Presidents!