RIP: The Iron Sheik

Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, better known as The Iron Sheik, died today at the age of 81.

Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri was born in Damghan, Iran.  He was a talented amateur wrestler and represented Iran on the Greco-Roman wrestling team in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.  Following the Olympics, Mr. Vaziri moved to the United States.  In 1971, he was the gold medalist in the Amateur Athletic Union Greco-Roman wrestling championships.  He then served as an assistant wrestling coach for the 1972 US Olympic team.

Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri began his wrestling career in 1972.  Capitalizing on his heritage, Mr. Vaziri shaved his head, grew a thick mustache and wore wrestling boots with toes that curved up.  He wrestled under the names The Great Hossein Arab and “Hussein Arab” before taking on the moniker of The Iron Sheik.  His character, ability in the ring and to work an audience made him a headliner.  Over the course of his career The Iron Sheik wrestled for all of the major wrestling organizations winning multiple championships in each.  The Iron Sheik was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to The Iron Sheik’s family, friends and fans.