Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, the Iranian-American wrestler fondly called Iron Sheik, has passed on at the age of 81. 


The Iranian-born wrestler’s death was announced in a statement shared on his social media on Wednesday.

“Today, we gather with heavy hearts to bid farewell to a true legend, a force of nature, and an iconic figure who left an incredible mark on the world of professional wrestling,” the statement reads.

“It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of The Iron Sheik, but we also take solace in knowing that he departed this world peacefully, leaving behind a legacy that will endure for generations to come.


“Beyond the wrestling persona that the world knew so well, The Iron Sheik was a devoted family man.”

The statement added that Iron Sheik is survived by Caryl, his wife of 47 years; Tanya, Nikki, and Marissa, his three children; Eddie, son-in-law; and five grandchildren.

“He cherished the love and support of his wife of 47 years Caryl, who stood by his side through thick and thin, offering unwavering encouragement throughout his life. Their bond was an anchor, providing him with the strength to face the challenges that life presented,” it reads.


“To his children, Tanya, Nikki, Marissa and son in law Eddie, he was not just a wrestling icon. He was a loving and dedicated father. 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.

“The Iron Sheik’s love also extended to his grandchildren, Marissa, Zahra, Alexis, Chloe and Niko who brought immeasurable joy into his life. As a doting Papa Sheik, he cherished every moment spent with them, creating memories that will forever be treasured. He shared his wisdom, humor, and zest for life with his grandchildren, leaving an incredible impression on their hearts.”

In a tribute published via its Twitter page, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) said it was saddened to learn about Iron Sheik’s demise.

“WWE is saddened to learn that Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, known the world over as WWE Hall of Famer The Iron Sheik, passed away on Wednesday, June 7, at age 81. WWE extends its condolences to The Iron Sheik’s family, friends and fans,” WWE wrote.

Booker T Huffman, the veteran wrestler, also described Sheik as “one of the very best” in his Twitter tribute.


“My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of @the_ironsheik. He is one of the very best to ever to do it. God speed,” he wrote. 

Born in a small Iranian village on March 15, 1942, Sheik later left his hometown for the United States. He gained popularity in the late 1970s, after working for various promotions including Jim Crockett Promotions, Mid-South Wrestling, and Georgia Championship Wrestling.

He briefly wrestled for the then-World Wrestling Federation in 1979 and 1980 but found his greatest success when he returned to the company in 1983, when he defeated Bob Backlund for the WWF Championship.

The Iron Sheik was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.


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