Devotion: The Memoirs of Mehrdad Pahlbod: Serving the Last Shah of Iran

August 11, 2019 - Comment

A Man of Devotion As the Minister of Culture and Fine Arts for the last Shah of Iran, Mehrdad Pahlbod’s life was entangled with royalty, celebrity, and finally revolution. His story spans the rise and fall of a dynasty—yet it’s also a story of love and loyalty during a pivotal moment in Iranian history. “Please

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A Man of Devotion

As the Minister of Culture and Fine Arts for the last Shah of Iran, Mehrdad Pahlbod’s life was entangled with royalty, celebrity, and finally revolution. His story spans the rise and fall of a dynasty—yet it’s also a story of love and loyalty during a pivotal moment in Iranian history.

“Please don’t come back to Iran,” the Shah told Mehrdad, “the political climate has become too dangerous.” Mehrdad Pahlbod, a man who revered, honored, and served his Shah and country, realized he could never return to the land he loved.

At the age of nineteen Mehrdad met a young lady who would change his life forever—Princess Shams Pahlavi, the older sister of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the future Shah of Iran. Eight years later they wed.

Mehrdad was later appointed by the Shah to oversee the Department of Fine Arts, an organization he would expand into the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. With the Shah’s blessing and leadership, Mehrdad helped focus an international spotlight on his beloved country.

Although Mehrdad was born into an average, middle-income family, he rose to one of the most esteemed positions in the country which landed him in the courts of royalty, presidents, and emperors. The diverse ministry also allowed him to meet and mingle with Hollywood’s greatest celebrities.

His life was filled with excitement, intrigue, and blessing, yet through it all he remained devoted to his wife, his family, his King, and his country.

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