At the time of his death in 1979, Ayatullah Taleghani was chairman of Iran's Revolutionary Council, a member of the Assembly of Experts elected to draft a constitution for a new Islamic Republic, and also leader of Friday prayers in Tehran. He had just delivered seven lectures on the Qur'an for television. He had recently travelled to northern Iran to mediate in conflicts with the Kurds. A fe months before that, in what were the final weeks of the old regime, he had arranged mourning ceremonies for masses of dead civilians and headed demonstrations calling for a new governmnet under the leadership of Khomeini. All this Taleghani accomplished in the space of mere ten months - - his release from prison for the last time had only come in November 1978.
A foremost religious scholar with a reputation for independent thought, Taleghani spent most of his life in Tehran, where his outspoken opposition to the Pahlavi rulers resulted in his spending many years behind bars. There, with an inordinate amount of time for reflection and talk, he worked ceaselessly, writing his most notbale works and lecturing he fellow inmates. The prisons were packed with political dissenters, and many who have figured prominently in revolutionary Iran received theri schooling in Islam fro Taleghani. [via]