Famous Iranian Men

Think of Iran and the first thing that runs your mind is social unrest, militancy, religious riots and unjust laws. Well, you are not to be blamed for the country has drawn much negative publicity from round the globe. But Iran is not all about insurrection and insurgency. The land, which is home to one of the world’s oldest civilization, has been a cultural and economic centre of the Middle East. It has been home to numerous ethnic groups and also to a large number of talented men who have greatly contributed in the country cultural and economic landscape.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Cyrus the Great

Cyrus the Great
Famous As: Founder of First Persian Empire
Birthdate: 0590 BC
Birthplace: Anshan, Iran
Died: 0530 BC

Cyrus II, or Cyrus the Great, founded the first Persian empire, the Achaemenid Empire. His kingdom extended from Western Asia to Central Asia. He advocated centralized administration, with the help of local governors. The biblical Edict of Cyrus, named after him, talks about the return of the Jews to Israel.

 2 Zoroaster

Famous As: Founder of Zoroastrianism
Birthdate: 0000 BC
Zoroaster, also known as Zarathustra, was an Iranian spiritual leader who founded the religion Zoroastrianism, which challenged the traditional religious ideas of Ancient Persia. There is no record that states the exact period of his existence with certainty. He is said to have authored the Gathas and the Yasna Haptanghaiti.

 3 Omar Khayyam

Omar Khayyam
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: May 18, 1048
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nishapur, Khorasan, Iran
Died: December 4, 1131

Omar Khayyam was a Persian polymath, mathematician, philosopher, astronomer, and poet. In the field of mathematics, he is best known for his work on the classification and solution of cubic equations. As an astronomer, he designed a solar calendar known as the Jalali calendar. His philosophical attitude towards life had elements of pessimism, nihilism, Epicureanism, and fatalism. 

 4 Mohammad Reza Pahlavi

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Famous As: Last Shah of Iran
Birthdate: October 26, 1919
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tehran
Died: July 27, 1980

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi served as the last king of Iran from 1941 to 1979. During his reign, Iran witnessed rapid military and industrial modernization and several social and economic reforms. During his rule, Iran also enjoyed a spike in economic growth, surpassing France, England, and the US. However, the Iranian Revolution, which was unusual in many ways, overthrew the king.

 5 Xerxes I

Xerxes I
Famous As: Persian King
Birthdate: 0519 BC
Birthplace: Iran
Died: 0466 AD

Xerxes I ruled the Achaemenid Empire from 486 to 465 BC as the fourth King of Kings. During his reign, Xerxes I supervised the completion of several construction projects at Persepolis and Susa. A popular ruler, his life has been adapted into several plays and films; in the 1960 movie Esther and the King, Xerxes is played by Richard Egan.

 6 Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī

Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: September 5, 0973
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kath, Uzbekistan
Died: December 13, 1048

Apart from being a pioneer of Indology and geodesy, Persian scholar Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī also worked on subjects such as anthropology, math, and ethnography. It is believed he didn’t know his father. He had penned many works, such as the encyclopaedic volume The Chronology of Ancient Nations.

 7 Darius the Great

Darius the Great
Famous As: King of Persia
Birthdate: 0550 AD
Birthplace: Iran
Died: September 30, 0487
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 8 Ali Daei

Ali Daei
Famous As: Association football player, Entrepreneur, Businessperson, Association football manager
Birthdate: March 21, 1969
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ardabil

 9 Rezā Shāh

Rezā Shāh
Famous As: Political figure
Birthdate: March 15, 1878
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Alasht
Died: July 26, 1944

Rezā Shāh was a military colonel who founded the Pahlavi dynasty and reigned as the Shah of Iran from December 1925 to September 1941. He was also the prime minister of Iran from October 1923 to November 1925. His tenure saw the introduction of many social, economic, and political reforms, and he is regarded as the founder of modern Iran. 

 10 Mohammad Mosaddegh

Mohammad Mosaddegh
Famous As: Political Leader
Birthdate: June 16, 1882
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
Died: March 5, 1967
Born to an Iranian public officer, Iranian prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh had an elite education in Switzerland. His oil-nationalization act brought about an economic crisis in the country. He was known to be an eccentric person who met visitors in pajamas, from his bed, and also cried in public.

 11 Nader Shah

Nader Shah
Famous As: Ruler
Birthdate: October 22, 1688
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dargaz, Persi
Died: June 19, 1747

Nader Shah reigned over Iran as the Shah of Iran from 1736 until his death in 1747. He is widely regarded as one of the most powerful rulers in the history of Iran. He has also been described as the Napoleon of Persia, thanks to his military genius, which was evident in his several campaigns.

 12 Al-Ghazālī

Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 1058 AD
Birthplace: Ṭūs, Iran
Died: December 19, 1111

 13 Hafez

Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 1315 AD
Birthplace: Shiraz, Iran
Died: 1390 AD

 14 Mansour Bahrami

Mansour Bahrami
Famous As: Tennis player
Birthdate: April 26, 1956
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Arak, Iran

 15 Beneil Dariush

Beneil Dariush
Famous As: Mixed Martial Artist
Birthdate: May 6, 1989
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gol Tappeh, Hamadan, Iran

Iranian lightweight fighter Beneil Dariush moved to the U.S. at age 9. A UFC champion, he boasts of a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. He has bagged several gold medals at the World No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu championship, too. In 2021, he criticized UFC for not setting his matches against top-ranking contenders.

 16 Hassan-i Sabbah

Hassan-i Sabbah
Famous As: Islamic religious leader
Birthdate: 1050 AD
Birthplace: Qom, Iran
Died: June 12, 1124

 17 Abdul Qadir Gilani

Abdul Qadir Gilani
Famous As: Preacher
Birthdate: March 17, 1078
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Amol, Iran
Died: February 21, 1166

 18 Abbas Kiarostami

Abbas Kiarostami
Famous As: Film director, Screenwriter, Photographer, Film producer, Poet, Film editor
Birthdate: June 22, 1940
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tehran
Died: July 4, 2016

 19 Alireza Firouzja

Alireza Firouzja
Famous As: Chess player
Birthdate: June 18, 2003
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Babol, Iran

 20 Asghar Farhadi

Asghar Farhadi
Famous As: Film Director
Birthdate: May 7, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Khomeyni Shahr, Iran

Asghar Farhadi is an Iranian screenwriter and film director. In 2016, Farhadi became one of the few directors to receive two Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film. While his film The Salesman earned him an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2016, he had previously won an Oscar for his 2011 film A Separation.

 21 Al-Razi

Famous As: Polymath
Birthdate: 0854 AD
Birthplace: Ray
Died: October 15, 0925

 22 Ramin Karimloo

Ramin Karimloo
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 19, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

 23 Alireza Jahanbakhsh

Alireza Jahanbakhsh
Famous As: Iranian footballer
Birthdate: August 11, 1993
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Jirandeh, Iran

 24 Shams Tabrizi

Shams Tabrizi
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 1185 AD
Birthplace: Tabriz, Iran
Died: 1248 AD

Shams Tabrizi was a Persian poet best remembered for playing an important role in the life of the popular poet and scholar, Rumi. Having served as a spiritual instructor of Rumi, Tabrizi is referenced with reverence in many of Rumi's poetic collection. An important historical figure in Iran, Tabrizi's tomb has been nominated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

 25 Jabir Ibn Hayyan

Jabir Ibn Hayyan
Famous As: Alchemist
Birthdate: 0721 AD
Birthplace: Tous, Iran
Died: 0815 AD

Eighth-century alchemist and physician Jabir Ibn Hayyan has been credited with too many written works. Experts believe his vast works may not have been written by a single person. The Jabirian corpus, a collection of his works, is known for its "method of the balance" and its focus on chemistry.

 26 Mehran Karimi Nasseri

Mehran Karimi Nasseri
Famous As: Refugee
Birthdate: 1942 AD
Birthplace: Masjed Soleiman, Iran

Mehran Karimi Nasseri is an Iranian refugee who lived in the Charles de Gaulle Airport in France from 1988 to 2006. He claimed that he was expelled from Iran and because his entry to the airport was legal, the French authorities could not drive him away as he had no country of origin. His story has inspired films and documentaries.

 27 Maz Jobrani

Maz Jobrani
Famous As: Comedians
Birthdate: February 26, 1972
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

 28 Cambyses II

Cambyses II
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0559 BC
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: June 30, 0522

 29 Sardar Azmoun

Sardar Azmoun
Famous As: Association football player
Birthdate: January 1, 1995
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gonbad-e Qabus

 30 Arash

Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: April 23, 1977
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

 31 Ferdowsi

Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 0940 AD
Birthplace: Tous, Iran
Died: 1020 AD

 32 Ismail I

Ismail I
Famous As: sovereign, poet, writer
Birthdate: July 17, 1487
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ardabil
Died: May 23, 1524

 33 Nasir al-Din al-Tusi

Nasir al-Din al-Tusi
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 18, 1201
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tous, Iran
Died: June 26, 1274

Persian polymath Nasir al-Din al-Tusi lost his jurist father in childhood and then went around as a scholar, learning subjects such as math and philosophy. He made invaluable contribution to astronomy and later served as a scientific advisor of the Mongols. One of his notable written works was Akhlaq-i Nasiri.

 34 Execution of Navid Afkari

Execution of Navid Afkari
Famous As: Wrestler
Birthdate: July 22, 1993
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Shiraz, Iran
Died: September 12, 2020

 35 Muhammad of Ghor

Muhammad of Ghor
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 1149 AD
Birthplace: Ghor, Afghanistan
Died: March 15, 1206

Muhammad of Ghor of the Ghurid Empire went down in history as the man who established Muslim rule in the Indian subcontinent and set the tone for the upcoming Mughal dynasty. He ruled over a vast area, which included India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran, among others, along with his brother, Ghiyath ad-Din Muhammad.

 36 Navid Negahban

Navid Negahban
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 2, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Iran

 37 Mani

Famous As: Prophet
Birthdate: April 14, 0216
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ctesiphon, Iraq
Died: March 2, 0274

 38 Mehdi Taremi

Mehdi Taremi
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: July 18, 1992
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bushehr, Iran

 39 Jian Ghomeshi

Jian Ghomeshi
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: June 9, 1967
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England, UK

Multi-dimensional Persian-Canadian musical artist and broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi is best known for his CBC show Q. Part of the folk-rock group Moxy Früvous, he has also launched a few podcasts. He was dragged into a sexual assault controversy, involving multiple charges, but was later acquitted of all charges.

 40 Saeed Hanaei

Saeed Hanaei
Famous As: Serial killer
Birthdate: April 5, 1962
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mashhad, Iran
Died: April 8, 2002

 41 Karim Ansarifard

Karim Ansarifard
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: April 3, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ardabil, Iran

 42 Patrik Baboumian

Patrik Baboumian
Famous As: Strongman
Birthdate: July 1, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Abadan, Iran

 43 Saman Ghoddos

Saman Ghoddos
Famous As: Footballer
Birthdate: September 6, 1993
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Malmö

 44 Qasem Soleimani

Qasem Soleimani
Famous As: Former Commander of Quds Force
Birthdate: March 11, 1957
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Qanat-e Malek, Kerman, Iran
Died: January 3, 2020

Qasem Soleimani was an Iranian major general who served as the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force from 1998 to 2020. Soleimani was regarded as the second most powerful Iranian. Although he is considered a national hero in Iran, Soleimani was termed a terrorist by the US and was killed in a targeted drone strike in 2020.

 45 Ayatollah Khomeini

Ayatollah Khomeini
Famous As: Led the Famous Iranian Revolution in 1979
Birthdate: September 22, 1902
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Khomeyn, Persia
Died: June 3, 1989
Ayatollah Khomeini, or the Imam Khomeini, became Iran’s first Supreme Leader, after leading the 1979 Iranian Revolution against Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. He founded the Islamic Republic of Iran. He also issued a “fatwa” against novelist Salman Rushdie and supported the hostage takers during the Iran hostage crisis. 

 46 Bardiya

Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Pasargadae, Iran
Died: 0522 AD

 47 Zerubbabel

Famous As: Governor
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Not known

 48 Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan
Famous As: Scholar of sociology of religion, writer, and television host
Birthdate: May 3, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

 49 Ashkan Dejagah

Ashkan Dejagah
Famous As: Football player
Birthdate: July 5, 1986
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

 50 Ali Khamenei

Ali Khamenei
Famous As: Supreme Leader of Iran
Birthdate: July 17, 1939
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mashhad
Ali Khamenei has been serving as the supreme leader of Iran since 1989 and has previously been its president. He is one of the co-founders of the Islamic Republic Party and led his country during the Iran–Iraq War. His reign has also seen extreme treatment of journalists and protestors.

If you don’t believe us, then this would help clear your doubt. World leaders like Ayatollah Khomeini, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ali Khamenei, Olympic Gold medallist Hadi Sedi, Abdollah Movahed, Emamali Habibi Goudarzi, Mohammad Nassiri, religious figures like The Bab, Bahau’llah, Mani, literary figures like Karim Emami, Majid M Naini, Ali Akbar Abdolrashidi, all of them belong to the Iranian soil. Check this section and update yourself with the life and deeds of famous Iranian men who did their country proud with their significant works. Their inspiring life story would definitely help you think high of Iran!