Aga Khan IV Biography
(49th Imam of Nizari Ismaili Shia Islam )
Birthday: December 13, 1936 (Sagittarius)
Born In: Geneva, Switzerland
Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini Aga Khan (IV) is a Swiss-born British business tycoon, as well as the 49th and current Imam of ‘Nizari Ismailism’. Educated in Switzerland and at Harvard University, he was chosen as the successor to the imamate of the Nizārī Ismāʿīlī sect by his grandfather, the Aga Khan III, whom he succeeded in 1957. During the early years of his reign, he initiated visits to gain the trust of people of the community and emerged as a strong leader, ordering his followers to become citizens of the countries in which they resided, and to leave countries where they faced trouble and persecution. He is also known for his business acumen, and his extensive private holdings include hotels, airlines, and newspapers. Through organizations such as the ‘Aga Khan Foundation’, the imamate funded aid agencies offering educational, health, and housing services in South Asia and East Africa. He became the spiritual leader of the world’s Ismaili Muslims and currently chairs the ‘Aga Khan Development Network’. One of the world's ten richest royals, ‘His Royal Highness’ has been on the throne for more than 50 years. Among the various works he has undertaken during his reign, the prominent ongoing ones are the elimination of global poverty, the promotion and implementation of secular pluralism, the advancement of the status of women, and the honoring of Islamic art and architecture.