He was the Supreme Leader of the world's first Islamic Republic. When he died on June 4, 1989, millions of Iranians joined the pilgrimage to where the body of Ayatollah Khomeini would be displayed, encased in glass and displayed on a catafalque.
On June 7, 1989, the faithful gathered to grieve and catch a glimpse of the body of the man they called the "father of the revolution."
Ayatollah Khomeini, a religious scholar, came to power after the Iranian revolution of 1979.
The revolution had begun on university campuses as a protest against the tight political hold its Western-educated Shah had on the country.
But when the monarchy was overthrown, it left a power vacuum that was quickly filled by Khomeini and his clerics.
The students had inadvertently gone from the fire into the frying pan.
He enforced strict Islamic values, including the mandatory headscarf for women who went out in public. He incarcerated and tortured the same people who had revolted for change. He ruled his Islamic theocracy with the fervour of an evangelical overlord, punishing any who questioned the new rules.
But many had wanted to move away from Western secularism. As an Ayatollah, he was a religious leader of the highest order among Shia Muslims and seen as a sign of God.
The ayatollah is remembered as a both saviour and a villain.