Woods is a card-carrying member of Mensa with an IQ of 180.
Woods was born in Vernal, Utah. His father, Gail Peyton Woods, was an army intelligence officer who died in 1960 following routine surgery. His mother, Martha A. (née Smith), operated a pre-school after her husband’s death and later married Thomas E. Dixon. Woods grew up in Warwick, Rhode Island, where he attended Pilgrim High School.
At school Woods was considered a genius for his age, receiving a 800 on the math section of the SAT, the only person to do so in his grade.
Woods chose to pursue his undergraduate studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he majored in political science Woods has said that he became an actor because of the father of actor Ben Affleck, Tim Affleck, who was a stage manager at the Theatre Company of Boston while Woods was a student there.