By: Mir M.Hosseini
Gholamreza Takhti, the most famous wrestler in the Iranian history was found dead on Jan, 7, 1968 in his room at the Atlantic hotel in Tehran.
Takhti was born on Aug, 27, 1930 in a poor family in Khaniabad district of Tehran. He barely finished 9th grade at school and continued his life as an athlete. Starting at one of the Iranian traditional Martial Arts arenas called Zoorkhaneh and became a member of the Poolad Club at the age of 20. He earned his first gold medals in 1956 Olympics in Melbourne and soon became one of the most honored figures in Iranian sports arena.
But his fame went beyond medals as he had a remarkable chivalrous character. After a major earthquake in Boin Zahra, He walked down one of the main streets of Tehran and asked people for aid. Inspired by this behavior many famous figures of the time followed his path.
Takhti had democratic beliefs and he was a fan of Dr. Mosaddegh and a member of the Iranian National Front. Thus, he was naturally a threat to the despot regime of Pahlavi. Following the unrests on June, 5, 1963, he was elected to the central council of the Iran National Front. SAVAK tagged him as a political dissident and Iran's Ministry of Information and Security started putting obstacles against him so that he could not attend international competitions. Mosaddegh died on Mar, 5, 1967 and Takhti was threatened by security forces not to attend the funeral. As was expected from the champion, he did not back up and asked the police to arrest him if they could.
It was hard for people to believe it when the government called his death a suicide, many speculated about it as a murder by SAVAK which was not uncommon for political dissidents at the time, however there were never further proofs available and no such records were found on files after the Pahlavi regime was overthrown in 1979.
Takhti had registered his last will one day before his death at a notary. He now rests in Ebn Babouyeh Cemetery in Rhagae south of Tehran.