Gholamreza Pahlavi

His Royal Highness Gholam Reza Pahlavi and Princess Pahlavi (HRH is the half-brother of the Shah of Iran) (right).

Persian غلامرضا پهلوی 15 May 1923 – 7 May 2017

Gholamreza Pahlavi was an Iranian prince and a member of the Pahlavi dynasty, as the son of Reza Shah and half-brother of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran. He resided in Paris with his family.

He received primary education in Persia (Iran) and then went to Switzerland for secondary education.

Pahlavi graduated from Princeton University. Upon returning to Iran, he attended military officers’ training college for a military career. Pahlavi began his career in Iran’s armed forces, serving as inspector general. He retired as a brigadier general.

After holding different positions in the army, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general in 1973. He was a member of the Royal Council which ruled Iran during the international visits of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

He accompanied his father, Reza Shah, to his exile in Mauritius when he was forced to abdicate in September 1941. In 1955, he became a member of the International Olympic Committee and also served as President of the Iranian National Olympic Committee.

Pahlavi was the fifth child and third son of Reza Shah, the founder of the Iranian Pahlavi dynasty. His mother, Turan (Qamar al Molouk) Amirsoleimani, was related to the Qajar dynasty deposed in 1925 in favor of Reza Shah. She was the daughter of a Qajar dignitary, Issa Majd al Saltaneh. She was also the granddaughter of Majd ed-Dowleh Qajar-Qovanlu Amirsoleimani, Naser al Din Shah’s maternal cousin.

In 1936, he returned to Iran and attended military school. In the aftermath of Reza Shah’s abdication, the British and Russian envoys attempted to put Gholamreza on the throne, bypassing then Crown Prince Mohammad Reza when their efforts to end the Pahlavi dynasty and reinstate the Qajar dynasty failed. It, however, also did not work. 

Pahlavi left Iran before the 1979 revolution along with other relatives. He settled in Paris. In the immediate aftermath of the revolution, Ayatollah Sadegh Khalkali, a religious judge and then chairman of the Revolutionary Court, informed the press that a death sentence was passed on the members of the Pahlavi family, including Gholamreza and other former Shah officials.

Pahlavi published a book, Mon père, mon frère, les Shahs d’Iran (“My father, my brother, the Shahs of Iran”), in 2005, dealing with both his experiences and thoughts about the future of Iran. The book was published in French and Persian.

He died at the age of 93 in the American Hospital of Paris on 7 May 2017.

Pahlavi married Homa Aalam in 1947 in Tehran. They had a daughter, Mehrnaz, and a son, Bahman. They divorced in 1956 and he married Manijeh Jahanbani, a Qajar princess, in Tehran on 6 March 1962. Together they had two daughters and a son.

Gholamreza Pahlavi and Princess Manijeh contributed one hour of never-before seen interview to Legacy.