Richest PoliticiansRoyals
Net Worth:
$200 Million
Oct 14, 1938 (85 years old)
United States of America
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What is Farah Pahlavi's net worth?

Farah Pahlavi is an Iranian Empress who has a net worth of $200 million. Farah Pahlavi is the former Queen and exiled Empress of Iran. Through her marriage to the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Farah was Queen and Empress of Iran from 1959 until they were exiled in 1979 as part of the Iranian Revolution. Her husband made her an Empress. She was the first and last Empress of modern Iran. In the late 1970s before being exiled, the Shah's personal fortune was estimated at $1-2 billion, and the Pahlavi Foundation, a charitable organization controlled by the royal family, was worth an estimated $12 billion.

Farah Pahlavi attended multiple international schools in Iran then went on to study architecture at the Ecole Spéciale d'Architecture in Paris. As Iranian students abroad were funded by the state, all students met with the Shah whenever he traveled. She was presented to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi while studying in Paris. After a very intricate and heavily managed courtship, they were married in 1959. She became quite popular for her active interest in educational, health, and cultural initiatives.

The Pahlavis' extravagant lifestyle was a source of public criticism. Many Iranians felt that the royal family was out of touch with the needs of the people, and that their wealth was a symbol of their corruption. The Pahlavis lived a lavish lifestyle. They had a fleet of private jets, a yacht, and several palaces. They also owned a vast collection of art, jewelry, and other valuables. Farah Pahlavi had expensive tastes. She loved to shop, and she often bought clothes, jewelry, and other items from the most expensive designers in the world. She also had a passion for collecting art, and she spent millions of dollars on paintings, sculptures, and other works of art. The Pahlavi Foundation's assets were seized by the Iranian government, and the royal family's personal fortune was largely lost. Despite the loss of their wealth, Farah Pahlavi and her husband have continued to live a comfortable lifestyle. They have homes in Europe and the United States, and they receive financial support from supporters around the world.

Early Life

Farah Pahlavi was born on October 14, 1938 in Tehran, then in the Imperial State of Iran, and given the name Farah Diba. She was born into an upper-class family, the daughter of Captain Sohrab Diba and his wife, Farideh Ghotbi. Her father was an officer in the Imperial Iranian Armed Forces and a graduate of the French Military Academy of St. Cyr. Pahlavi was very close to her father and was profoundly affected by his death in 1948 when she was ten years old. After his death, the family was forced to move from their large villa in northern Tehran into a shared apartment with another family member.

Pahlavi began her education at Tehran's Italian School. She then continued studying at the French Jeanne d'Arc School until the age of 16, at which time she moved to the Lycée Razi. In her youth, she was an athlete and became the captain of her school's basketball team. After finishing her secondary studies, she pursued her interest in architecture at the Ecole Spéciale d'Architecture in Paris where she studied under Albert Besson.


Empress of Iran

Pahlavi's career in the public eye began after her marriage to the Shah of Iran in 1959. It was unclear at first what her role would be other than producing a male heir for the Shah. However, after she successfully gave birth to a son in 1960, she was free to devote her time to more official state pursuits. Initially, she limited herself to a mostly ceremonial role. She was responsible for befriending the French culture minister André Malraux, which led the two to arrange the exchange of cultural artifacts between French and Iranian art galleries and museums. This trade continued until the Iranian revolution of 1979. She also spent much of her time attending the openings of various health and education institutions.

Pahlavi at first did not involve herself with too many controversial issues. However, as time progressed, she became more actively involved in government affairs when they concerned issues that she felt deeply about. She used her proximity and influence with her husband to secure funding and focus attention on areas like women's rights and cultural development. One of her main initiatives was founding Pahlavi University, which was meant to improve the education of Iranian women. It was the first American style university in Iran as previous universities had been modeled on the French style.

Additionally, she worked long hours at her charitable activities. Over time, she came to preside over a staff of 40 who helped her manage all of official and charitable duties. She became one of the most highly visible figures in the Imperial Government and the patron of 24 different educational, health, and cultural organizations. She was also instrumental in encouraging the development of an active art scene in Iran and highlighting the existing art in the country. Due to all of her humanitarian activities, she became immensely popular with the public, particularly during the early 1970s. She travelled extensively throughout Iran, visiting some of the most remote parts of the country to meet local citizens. She had also officially been named the regent of Iran by the Shah in the case that he die before the Crown Prince's 21st birthday. The naming of a woman as regent was highly unusual for a Middle Eastern or Muslim monarchy.

However, as the 1970s continued, internal dissatisfaction among the people was growing which led to demonstrations against the monarchy. When violent protests broke out in the country, the Shah and Pahlavi left Iran in January of 1979. They then traveled to Egypt, Morocco, the Bahamas, and Mexico. The Shah died from an illness in 1980 and Pahlavi returned to Egypt to live in exile for nearly two years. She later moved to the United States following an invitation from President Ronald Reagan in 1982.

Personal Life

Pahlavi married Shah Mohammed Reza on December 20, 1959 when she was 21 years old. They met while the Shah was making an official visit on behalf of Iran to Paris. After she had returned to Tehran in the summer of 1959, they began a courtship and announced their engagement in November of that year. Her wedding gown was designed by Yves Saint Laurent and she wore the newly commissioned Noor-ol-Ain Diamond tiara. After their marriage, the pressure on Pahlavi to produce a male heir was evident. Though her husband had been married twice before, neither marriage had produced a male heir. The couple subsequently had four children, first a son born in 1969 followed by three daughters born in 1963, 1966, and 1970.

Pahlavi wrote a memoir, "An Enduring Love: My Life with the Shah," in 2003. It became a best-seller in Europe. In 2009, the Persian-Swedish director Nahid Persson Sarvestani released a feature length documentary about Pahlavi's life called "The Queen and I." It was screened at various international film festivals like IDFA and Sundance.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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