Hashemi speaking as his wife, Effat
From his marriage to Effat Marashi in 1958, Rafsanjani had three sons: Mohsen, Mehdi, and Yasser, as well as two daughters, Fatemeh and Faezeh. Only Faezeh Hashemi chose a political life, which led to her becoming a Majlis representative and then the publisher of the weekly newspaper Zan (meaning Woman in English), which was closed in February 1999. In 2016, his daughter, Faezeh Hashemi, sparked a debate on religious persecution in Iran by visiting the female leader of the persecuted Bahai religious minority. The two women had met in prison, when Faezeh was serving a six-month sentence for "spreading propaganda against the system." Another Rafsanjani's daughter, Fatemeh is President of Charity Foundation for Special Diseases and Mohsen was chairman of Tehran Metro Organization and now is vice president of Azad University. His wife, Effat is the granddaughter of Mohammed Kazem Yazdi.
The Rafsanjani family took their name from his great grandfather, whose last name was Hashem. When Akbar Hashemi was born, his father was a rich businessman with a valuable pistachio business.
In 2003, Forbes named him as one of the richest persons in Iran, with an excess of USD$1 billion in assets. According to a U.S. congressional report, the pistachio trade from Rafsanjan gardens, controlled by his cousin, was worth more than USD$746 million.
Hashemi and his partners also owned Islamic Azad University, worth an estimated USD$20–25 billion.
Rafsanjani speaking with the media after the first assassination attempt
Only months after the revolution, Rafsanjani was shot once in the stomach by gunmen from one of the groups vying for power amid the political turmoil. He was not seriously wounded—and neither was his wife, who jumped in front to shield him from the attack. "Great men of history do not die," Khomeini said in announcing that Rafsanjani had survived.