While much attention has been focused recently upon Iran's fiery and controversial president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the nation's other leading power broker has remained largely in the shadows...until now. Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was born into a family of strict piety and moderate poverty. As a serious-minded religious student, he soon caught the eye of the Ayatollah Khomeini. Joining Khomeini in his revolutionary activities against the U.S.-backed Shah of Iran, Khamenei was repeatedly imprisoned and tortured. Undaunted, he survived to witness Khomeini's triumphant return from exile and was rewarded for his sacrifices to the Islamic revolution with a series of important government and religious appointments. Upon Khomeini's death, Khamenei was named his successor and became the Grand Ayatollah of Iran. This new biography is essential reading for those eager to learn about a man likely to become one of the most influential world leaders of the 21st century.