Human monoclonal antibodies are safe, preventive, and therapeutic tools that can be rapidly developed to help restore the massive health and economic disruption caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. By single-cell sorting 4,277 SARS-CoV-2 spike protein-specific memory B cells from 14 COVID-19 survivors, 453 neutralizing antibodies were identified. The most potent neutralizing antibodies recognized the spike protein receptor-binding domain, followed in potency by antibodies that recognize the S1 domain, the spike protein trimer, and the S2 subunit. Only 1.4% of them neutralized the authentic virus with a potency of 1–10 ng/mL. The most potent monoclonal antibody, engineered to reduce the risk of antibody-dependent enhancement and prolong half-life, neutralized the authentic wild-type virus and emerging variants containing D614G, E484K, and N501Y substitutions. Prophylactic and therapeutic efficacy in the hamster model was observed at 0.25 and 4 mg/kg respectively in absence of Fc functions. Extremely potent neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies, though rare, are isolated from COVID-19 convalescent patients and suitable for prophylactic and therapeutic interventions of wild-type SARS-CoV-2 as well as emerging variants.