Silvio Berlusconi, born 29 September 1936) is an Italian media tycoon and politician who served as Prime Minister of Italy in four governments (1994–1995, 2001–2005, 2005–2006 and 2008–2011).
Berlusconi is the controlling shareholder of Mediaset and has owned the Italian football club A.C. Milan since 1986. He is nicknamed Il Cavaliere (The Knight) for his Order of Merit for Labour, although he voluntarily resigned from this order in March 2013. In 2015, Forbes magazine ranked him as the 141st richest man in the world with a net worth of US$8.0 billion. In 2009, Forbes ranked him 12th in the List of The World’s Most Powerful People due to his domination in Italian politics.
Berlusconi was Prime Minister for nine years in total, making him the longest-serving post-war Prime Minister of Italy, and the third longest-serving since the 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 is acting as the current leader of a revived Forza Italia. Berlusconi was the senior G8 leader from 2009 until 2011 and he currently holds the record of G8 Summit hosting (having hosted it in Italy three times).
After serving nearly 19 years as member of the Chamber of Deputies, Italy’s lower house, after the 2013 general election he became a member of the Senate. On 1 August 2013, he was convicted of tax-fraud by the final appeal instance, Court of Cassation (of which three years are automatically pardoned) along with a public office ban for two years. As his age exceeded 70 years, he was exempted from direct imprisonment, and instead served his sentence by doing unpaid social community work. Because of being sentenced to a gross imprisonment for more than two years, a new Italian anticorruption law made the Senate expel and bar him from serving any legislative office for six years. Berlusconi has pledged to stay leader of Forza Italia throughout the period where he serves his imprisonment sentence and public office ban.