Sayyid Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, also known as Ayatollah Khomeini, was an Iranian political and religious leader. He was the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which saw the overthrow of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and the end of the Persian monarchy. Following the revolution, Khomeini became the country's Supreme Leader, a position created in the constitution of the Islamic Republic as the highest-ranking political and religious authority of the nation, which he held until his death. Most of his period in power was taken up by the Iran–Iraq War of 1980–1988. He was succeeded by Ali Khamenei on 4 June 1989.
Khomeini was born in Khomeyn, in what is now Iran's Markazi Province. His father was murdered in 1903 when Khomeini was two years old. He began studying the Quran and Arabic from a young age and was assisted in his religious studies by his relatives, including his mother's cousin and older brother.
Khomeini was a marja in Twelver Shia Islam, a Mujtahid or faqih and author of more than 40 books, but he is primarily known for his political activities.