Italian Media Magnate and Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi Passes Away at the Age of 86

Silvio Berlusconi, a billionaire Italian media mogul, held the position of the country’s prime minister three times within a span of nine years. Additionally, he was the dominant shareholder of Mediaset, which stands as Italy’s largest commercial broadcaster.

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Silvio Berlusconi, the influential media tycoon turned politician who shaped an era in postwar Italy with his blend of television dominance, controversial corruption allegations, and sex scandals, has passed away at the age of 86. According to reports from Italian media, Berlusconi died at the San Raffaele hospital in Milan, after battling leukemia and recently contracting a lung infection.

Having amassed immense wealth through the establishment of Italy’s private TV sector with his Mediaset empire, Berlusconi made his foray into politics in 1993. He successfully ascended to the role of prime minister in 1994 and went on to hold the position three times, although not consecutively. Berlusconi’s tenure marked the longest-serving term for a democratically elected Italian leader. However, in 2013, he was expelled from parliament following a conviction for tax fraud.

Silvio Berlusconi’s construction company Edilnord constructed a modern complex called Milano 2 on the outskirts of Milan. Within this development, Berlusconi established an internal cable TV station named Telemilano. Telemilano, launched in 1978, served as the foundation for Berlusconi’s pioneering creation of Italy’s first nationwide private TV network.

He achieved this by acquiring local stations and simultaneously broadcasting identical programming on them. By cleverly sidestepping the ban on nationwide broadcasting, Berlusconi effectively established a de facto national network that gradually eroded the monopoly held by the colossal public broadcaster RAI.

Silvio Berlusconi was born in Milan to a middle-class family, with his father employed in a bank and his mother being a housewife. He embarked on an extraordinary journey by initially selling vacuum cleaners and performing as a singer in nightclubs and on cruise ships. In 1961, he obtained a law degree and established the construction company Edilnord.

Berlusconi’s legacy lives on through his five children. Marina, who serves as the executive chairman of Fininvest and holds the position of chairman at Mondadori; Pier Silvio, who currently holds the position of CEO at Mediaset; Barbara, a member of the board of Fininvest and A.C. Milan; Eleonora, also serving on the boards of these two companies; and Luigi, who is involved in the finance sector.

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