We report on spectroscopic characterization of laser active powders based on iron doped II-VI ternary and quaternary semiconductors for mid-IR laser applications. Iron doped Cd1-x MnxTe, Cd1-x MnxS, Cd1-xMnxSe, Cd0.5Mn0.5S0.5Se0.5 , Cd1-xZnxTe compounds with x=0.5-0.25, were prepared by using thermo diffusion technique. The starting binary powders were mixed in the appropriate molar ratios, sealed in evacuated (10-3 Torr) quartz ampoules, and annealed at 800-1000oC for several days. Samples composition, integrity, and grain size were characterized by micro-Raman and Xray diffraction and revealed a variation of the crystal field parameters depending on powder composition. Fe2+ photoluminescence was characterized by spectral band position (normalized with respect to the detection platform spectral sensitivity) and lifetime at different temperatures, enabling calculation of the absorption and emission crosssections. Practical utility of the developed powders was demonstrated by a room temperature random lasing of iron doped Cd0.5Zn0.5Te powders over 5620-6020 nm spectral range pumped by a 2.94 μm radiation of a Q-switched Er:YAG laser. In summary, the following has been accomplished: (1) It was demonstrated that laser active Fe2+ doped ternary and quaternary II-VI materials can be produced by simple annealing of the commercially available binary powders omitting expensive and complicated crystal growth processes; (2) It is possible to effectively shift PL of Fe2+ in II-VI host materials towards shorter or longer wavelength by varying composition, type and amount of the second cation in ternary II-VI materials; (3) Major spectroscopic characteristics of Fe2+ doped II-VI ternary and quaternary compounds were obtained and their practical utility for mid-IR lasing demonstrated.