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Farah Diba was born in Tehran, the only daughter of an upper-class Iranian army officer. The family was of Azerbaijan descent. She attended French schools and went on to study at the Ecole d'Architecture in Paris. There in 1959, at age 21, she met Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, and married him later that year. The couple had four children. As empress of Iran, she promoted cultural and social welfare issues, especially for women, and served as the patron of 24 educational, health, cultural and charity organizations. She accompanied her husband into exile when he was overthrown in 1979. She now divides her time between Washington, D.C, and Paris. Her autobiography was published in 2003.
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