Son of Mohammad Ali and Luise Ghotbi, AbdoulReza Ghotbi was born in Tehran, 1939. His mother was one the great grandchildren of Najafqoli Khan Samsam ol Saltaneh Bakhtiari. He went to the Italian elementary school and got his high school diploma from the French school. As his uncle, Farah Diba’s father died when he was child, his aunt and Farah, being one year older than him came to live with them.
They were brought up with equal standards of life and school. When Reza got his diploma, he left for France and registered in the Polytechnic school of Paris. In accordance with the atmosphere of university circles, he joined the nationalist students of PanIranists. He got his degree in the electric engineering. When he returned to Iran, his cousin, Farah was engaged to the Shah. Reza joined the Farah’s circle soon. For a time he taught mathematics at the university of Aryamehr (Sharif). Then he went to the ministry of intelligence and provided a scheme for the establishment of national television. As a cultural advisor to Farah, he became the general director of the organization and was free to carry out Farah’s cultural policies in Iran.
In mid 1966, Farah decided to found the Shiraz Art Festival’s organization of which Reza Ghotbi became the president. The programming for Shiraz art festivals was with Reza Ghotbi. and some parts of it were broadcasted in the television. He published the Tamasha quarterly. He entered the political arena progressively and was present in the important policy makings. Though Mohammad Reza was not satisfied with Farah’s occidental circle, Farah paid not much attention to this dissatisfaction.
As a cultural advisor to the Shah, Reza Ghotbi proposed the change of basis of Iranian calendar. In the late days of Pahlavi Regime, he played an important role. He wrote the text of the Shah’s last speech thereby he announced that he had heard the voice of the people’s revolution. He did not know much of the text of the speech and was not satisfied with it, but Reza Ghotbi and Seyyed Hossein Nasr persuaded him that it was better for the Shah to eco the voice of people. He never forgave Ghotbi for this speech and always referred to it as the such and such speech.
He consented to the detainment of the Pahlavi leaders including Hoveida and considered this useful tactic to overcome the crisis.
Following the success of the Islamic revolution, Ghotbi led a secret life for a while. Paying a large amount of money, Farah succeeded to provide his safe departure from Iran. Subsequent to the Shah’s death, again he joined Farah in Europe to cooperate with the opposition of the Islamic Republic of Iran.