Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has died, Italian media report

Norman Ray

Global Courant

Silvio Berlusconi gestures before a 2016 football match between his AC Milan and SS Lazio in Milan, Italy.

Marco Luzzani | Getty Images

Silvio Berlusconi, the billionaire media magnate who served as prime minister of various Italian governments for nine years, has died at the age of 86, Italian media reported Monday.

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CNBC was unable to immediately verify the reports.

The magnate suffered from several serious ailments, including Covid-19, which resulted in repeated hospitalizations as of September 2020.

Born on September 29, 1936, Berlusconi faced numerous scandals and trials over tax schemes and sexual escapades. He was once convicted but later cleared of charges of having sex with an underage nightclub dancer, Karima El-Mahroug, at one of his wild “bunga bunga” parties.

Berlusconi was the controlling shareholder of Mediaset, Italy’s largest commercial broadcaster.
In June 2023, his fortune was estimated to be around $7 billion. He also owned the Italian football club AC Milan from 1986 to 2017.

He led governments – from 1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2006 and 2008 to 2011 – and has been a member of the European Parliament since 2019, having also served from 1999 to 2001. At a campaign rally in 2009 during his last stint as prime minister, he was punched in the face by a mentally ill man wielding a figurine from Milan’s cathedraI. The bloody attack broke Berlusconi’s nose, cut his lip and knocked out two teeth.

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His nine years as prime minister made him the third longest-serving head of government in Italy, behind fascist dictators Benito Mussolini and Giovanni Giolitti.

He had promised – but failed – to sell his assets in Mediaset when he was prime minister.

In 2013, Berlusconi was convicted on charges of paying for sex with 17-year-old El-Mahroug at one of his parties and was sentenced to seven years in prison and banned from public office for life. Two years later, Italy’s highest court ordered his acquittal.

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Berlusconi was married twice and had five children.

— CNBC’s Sam Meredith contributed to this report.

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Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has died, Italian media report

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