His Highness the Aga Khan, (1877-1957) came from a very illustrious family, which has left its mark in the pages of history. The history of the Aga Khan family in India begins from the year 1842, when his grandfather, Aga Khan, Aga Hassan Alyshah reached with his band of followers from Kandhar, as a political refugee, and later settled in Bombay. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Alyshah Aga Khan II, who met an untimely death in 1895.
Aly Shah was succeeded by his son, Sultan Mohammed Shah, as Agha Khan III, at the age of seven. Educated in both traditions, the Aga Khan showed special aptitude for philosophy, theology and Persian poetry.
In his presidential address to the Mohammadan Educational Conference, held in Dehli in 1902, he promoted the idea of establishing a great central Muslim University at Aligarh.
In 1906, Sir Aga Khan led the Simla deputation and very adequately represented the Muslim demands for separate electorates, later reflected in the Morley-Minto Reforms of 1909. When All-India Muslim League was established in 1906, Aga Khan was elected its first President and continued to hold this post until 1912, when he submitted his resignation.
On January 1929, All-Parties Muslim conference, which met in Dehli with Aga Khan in the chair, made efforts to forge unity amongst the two warring parties of the Muslim league (the Shafi Group and Jinnah Group.) In his presidential address the Aga Khan advised Muslim leaders to sink their differences and to join hands.
In the Round Table conferences held in London 1930-1932, His Highness the Aga Khan played his cards remarkably as a skillful negotiator and a far-sighted statesman. In 1932, Aga Khan was nominated to represent India at the League of Nations and was unanimously elected President of the League of Nations in July 1937.
At the age of eighty, he died on July 11, 1957 in Geneva.