Politics entered the sport of wrestling with the Iron Sheik. He was discovered at the 1972 Olympics by AWA promoter Verne Gagne. In 1983, known as The Great Hossein, he won his first title, the Canadian Tag Team Championship, with partner the Texas Outlaw in 1978.
This victory caught the eye of the WWF where he debuted in 1979 and won the first-ever Battle Royal in Madison Square Garden, earning him a title shot at then-champion Bob Backlund, who pinned him later that night in a 30-minute battle. The Iron Sheik returned to the WWF in 1983 and challenged Backlund once again, who was still champion, and defeated him on December 26, 1983, with his finisher the Camel Clutch.
He lost the belt later to Hulk Hogan and went on to team with Nikolai Volkoff, and win the Tag Team Championship at Wrestlemania I. He eventually left the WWF, then returned again in the early '90s but with little success. He went on to wrestle in various independent promotions to age 60! He is now retired.
On May 5th, 2003, his oldest daughter, Marissa Jeanne Vaziri, was found strangled to death at 27 years old. Her live-in boyfriend, Charles Warren Reynolds, 38, confessed to the crime and was charged with murder.