Silvio Berlusconi was an Italian media tycoon and politician who served as Prime Minister of Italy in four governments from 1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2006 and 2008 to 2011.
He was the longest serving post-war Prime Minister of Italy, and the third longest-serving since Italian unification, after Benito Mussolini and Giovanni Giolitti.
He was the leader of the centre-right party Forza Italia from 1994 to 2009, and its successor party The People of Freedom from 2009 to 2013.
Since November 2013, he has led a revived Forza Italia.
Berlusconi was the senior G8 leader from 2009 until 2011, and held the record for hosting G8 summits, having hosted three summits in Italy.
Berlusconi was born in Milan, Italy, on September 29, 1936. He graduated from the University of Milan with a degree in law in 1961.
After graduating, he began working as a real estate developer. He quickly amassed a fortune and by the 1970s was one of the wealthiest men in Italy.
In 1974, Berlusconi founded the cable television firm Telemilano. Four years later, he launched Canale 5, Italy’s first commercial television network.
By the end of the decade, Berlusconi-created stations dominated Italian airwaves.
Berlusconi also diversified his business holdings, acquiring department stores, movie theaters, publishing companies, and the AC Milan football team.
He consolidated his empire under the umbrella of the Fininvest holding company, a vast conglomerate that grew to control more than 150 businesses.
In 1994, Berlusconi founded Forza Italia, a conservative political party.
The party won a landslide victory in the general election, and Berlusconi was appointed Prime Minister.
His first term as Prime Minister was marked by controversy.
He was accused of corruption, nepotism, and of using his media empire to promote his own interests.
He also faced criticism for his close ties to organized crime.
Berlusconi resigned as Prime Minister in 1995, but he returned to power in 2001. His second term as Prime Minister was more successful than his first.
He oversaw a period of economic growth and stability, and he also made progress on a number of social reforms. However, he continued to be dogged by scandal and controversy.
Berlusconi resigned as Prime Minister for a second time in 2006, but he returned to power in 2008.
His third term as Prime Minister was marked by the global financial crisis and the subsequent economic recession.
Berlusconi was criticized for his handling of the crisis, and he was also accused of corruption and of using his power to enrich himself and his friends.
Berlusconi resigned as Prime Minister for a third time in 2011.
Silvio Berlusconi cause of death
Berlusconi succumbed to myelomonocytic leukemia.
According to Mirror, the late politician was readmitted to hospital on June 9, 2023 with his doctors saying he had suffered from the disease for some time.
Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) is a rare type of blood cancer that affects the bone marrow.
It is characterized by an increased number of monocytes, a type of white blood cell, in the blood and bone marrow.
CMML is considered to be a myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN), a group of disorders that involve the uncontrolled production of myeloid cells, which are the cells that develop into red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
The exact cause of CMML is unknown, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Risk factors for CMML include;
- Age: CMML is most common in people over the age of 60.
- Family history: People with a family history of blood disorders, such as leukemia, are at an increased risk of developing CMML.
- Exposure to certain chemicals or radiation: Exposure to certain chemicals or radiation, such as benzene, has been linked to an increased risk of developing CMML.
The symptoms of CMML can vary from person to person and may include;
- Weight loss
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Bone pain
- Splenomegaly (enlarged spleen)
- Lymphadenopathy (enlarged lymph nodes)
The diagnosis of CMML is made through a blood test and a bone marrow biopsy.
The blood test will show an increased number of monocytes in the blood, and the bone marrow biopsy will show an increased number of immature myeloid cells.
There is no cure for CMML, but there are treatments that can help to control the disease and improve the quality of life for people with CMML.
Treatment options for CMML include;
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the most common treatment for CMML. Chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells, but they can also damage healthy cells. This can lead to side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, hair loss, and fatigue.
- Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy drugs target specific proteins that are involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells. Targeted therapy drugs can be used alone or in combination with chemotherapy.
- Stem cell transplantation: Stem cell transplantation is a procedure in which healthy stem cells are transplanted into the body to replace the damaged or destroyed stem cells. Stem cell transplantation is a high-risk procedure, but it can be an effective treatment for CMML.
The outlook for people with CMML varies depending on the patient’s age, overall health, and the severity of the disease.
The median survival time for people with CMML is about 3 years. However, some people with CMML can live for many years with the disease.