WWE Legend ‘The Iron Sheik’ Dies At 81: Family Pays Tribute To American-Iranian Icon
WWE Legend ‘The Iron Sheik’ Dies At 81: Family Pays Tribute To American-Iranian Icon Who ‘Transcended The Sport’ To Become A Global Superstar
- The WWE legend, real name Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, was born in Iran in 1942
- He competed for Iran’s Greco-Roman wrestling team at the 1968 Summer Games
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Tributes are pouring in for WWE legend ‘The Iron Sheik’ following his death at age 81.
The wrestler, real name Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, was born in Iran but became a global superstar in the 1980s, winning the WWF World Heavyweight Championship in 1983.
He previously competed for Iran’s Greco-Roman wrestling team at the 1968 Summer Games, and later won a national AAU title in 1971 after moving to the United States.
But when he made the move to the fledgling WWF in 1979, he became an international superstar along with Hulk Hogan, Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura and Andre ‘The Giant’ Roussimoff, among others.
His family confirmed the news on Twitter, paying tribute to “a true legend, a force of nature and an iconic figure who has left an incredible mark on the world of professional wrestling.” A cause of death has not been released.
The Iron Sheik poses for photos during the 2006 “Big Apple Con” in New York City
Iranian-American wrestler won the WWF World Heavyweight Championship in 1983
“WWE is saddened to hear of the passing of WWE Hall of Famer The Iron Sheik, and sends its deepest condolences to his family, friends and fans,” read a tweet from the circuit formerly known as the WWF.
In recent years, the Iron Sheik has re-introduced himself to a new generation of fans via a somewhat satirical Twitter page.
While it was not believed that he posted personally, it was served with his name and apparent blessing, using his coarse, belligerent, and often profane vernacular.
“WHO WHO WALKS THE DOGS CAN F*** YOURSELF,” read a recent post, which is emblematic of his Twitter persona.
“F*** THE LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE,” read another.
“Today it is with a heavy heart that we gather 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,” read a posthumous tweet from the popular Twitter account of the Iron Sheik on Wednesday.
“It is with great sadness that we share the news of The Iron Sheik’s passing, but we also take comfort in knowing that he left this world peacefully, leaving behind a legacy that will last for generations to come.
Aside from the struggling personality the world knew so well, The Iron Sheik was a devoted family man. He cherished the love and support of his wife of 47 years Caryl, who stood by his side through thick and thin and offered unwavering encouragement throughout his life. Their bond was an anchor and gave him the strength to face life’s challenges.
To his kids, Tanya, Nikki, Marissa and son-in-law Eddie, he wasn’t just a wrestling icon. He was a loving and devoted father. He instilled in them the values of perseverance, determination and the importance of following their dreams.
“The Iron Sheikh’s guidance and unwavering belief in their potential served as a driving force for his children, enabling them to become the best versions of themselves.”
Deceased wrestlers (left to right) Iron Sheik, Captain Lou Albano, and Nikolai Volkoff