The Iron Sheik, wrestling legend, dies at 81

Iron Sheik, an iconic WWE wrestler and popular social media personality, has died at the age of 81, his family announced Wednesday. His representative Jian Magen confirmed the death to CBS News.

His family called the wrestling legend, whose real name was Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, “an iconic figure who left an incredible mark on the world of professional wrestling” in a statement. They did not disclose the cause of his death.

“It is with great sadness that we share the news of The Iron Sheik’s passing, but we are also comforted to know that he departed this world in peace, leaving a legacy that will live on for generations to come,” they said. wrote On twitter.

The 2013 GQ Gentlemen Give Back concert with Robin Thicke
Iron Sheik attends the 2013 GQ Gentlemen Give Back concert with Robin Thicke at Highline Ballroom on October 23, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for GQ)

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Vaziri, who was from Iran, was a bodyguard for the Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, according to ESPN. He was a Greco-Roman wrestler and nearly made his country’s Olympic team in 1968. He later moved to the US and became an assistant coach for the US wrestling team. He then moved on to professional wrestling, joining the WWF in 1979, and won the WWF World Heavyweight Title in 1984. Iron Sheik was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.

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While he saw most of his success in the 1980s when he fought Hulk Hogan and Sgt. Slaughter, he took on a new era of fandom with his presence on Twitter, often with his eccentric tweets. The Iron Sheik has more than 643,000 followers on the social media platform.

He is survived by his wife Caryl, to whom he was married for 47 years, and their children Tanya, Nikki, and Marisa.

“He was a loving and dedicated father,” his family said. “He instilled in them the values ​​of perseverance, determination, and the importance of following their dreams. The Iron Sheik’s guidance and unwavering belief in their potential served as a driving force for his children, empowering them to become the best versions of themselves.” themselves”.

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