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Aga Khan III
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Religious Figure
    (November 2, 1877-July 11, 1957)
    Born in Karachi, Pakistan
    48th Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims
    Claimed to be a direct descendant of Muhammad
    Founding member and first president of the All-India Muslim League (1906)
    President of the League of Nations (1937-38)
    Father of Prince Aly Khan
    The first of his four wives was his cousin.
    Each wife was younger than the previous one, with his fourth wife 29 years his junior.
    For his 50th anniversary as imam, his followers matched his weight in gold; ten years later, they did it again with diamonds.
    He surprised the Ismaili community by skipping past his sons and naming his grandson Karim as Aga Khan IV.
    The gold and diamonds from his jubilee celebrations (along with hefty contributions from his own wealth) were given to charities.
    He established several schools and hospitals in Pakistan and eastern Africa.
    He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (1924).
    His explanation for choosing his grandson as Aga Khan IV was, 'In view of the fundamentally altered conditions in the world in very recent years... I am convinced that it is in the best interest of the Shia Muslim Ismailia Community that I should be succeeded by a young man who has been brought up and developed during recent years and in the midst of the new age and who brings a new outlook on life to his office as Imam.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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