Alireza Pahlavi, 44

Former shah of Iran's youngest son dead in apparent suicide

A 1971 photo of the Pahlavis, from left: Leila, Alireza, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Farah Pahlavi and Reza Pahlavi. The body of Alireza Pahlavi was found Tuesday in Boston,
A 1971 photo of the Pahlavis, from left: Leila, Alireza, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Farah Pahlavi and Reza Pahlavi. The body of Alireza Pahlavi was found Tuesday in Boston, (Associated Press)

Network News

X Profile
View More Activity
Thursday, January 6, 2011

Alireza Pahlavi, the youngest son of the former shah of Iran, was found dead Jan. 4 of an apparent suicide at his home in Boston. He was 44.

He died from a gunshot wound that apparently was self-inflicted, said Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney's office.

Fardia Pars, who is close to Reza Pahlavi, the shah's oldest son, said by phone from Paris that Alireza Pahlavi was depressed after the 2001 death of his sister Leila Pahlavi, 31, who was found in a London hotel room after overdosing on barbiturates.

Mr. Pahlavi's depression "grew over time - his departure from Iran, living in exile, the death of his father and then his sister to whom he was very close," said Nazie Eftekhari, who works in Reza Pahlavi's office in Washington and is a close family friend.

When Leila Pahlavi died, her mother said her daughter had been "very depressed." Her doctor had said she had a history of anorexia, bulimia and psychological problems.

Former shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was overthrown in the 1979 Islamic revolution. He fled Iran and wandered from country to country, ill with cancer, before dying in Egypt in 1980.

Alireza Pahlavi was born in Tehran in 1966 and attended school there until 1979, according to a brief biographical sketch on the Web site of his mother, the former empress Farah Pahlavi.

From 1981 to 1984, Mr. Pahlavi attended a high school in Williamstown, Mass.

He studied music as an undergraduate at Princeton University and ancient Iranian studies as a graduate student at Columbia University.

He also did postgraduate work at Harvard University in ancient Iranian studies and philology.

- Associated Press


© 2011 The Washington Post Company

Network News

X My Profile