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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

Ex-Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi Dies At 86

Silvio Berlusconi, the flamboyant billionaire and former Italian prime minister who described himself as the “Jesus Christ of politics,” has died at a Milan hospital at the age of 86, his press office confirmed on Monday, Valentina Di Donato, Barbie Latza Nadeau, Laura Smith-Spark, Peter Wilkinson, Antonia Mortensen and Rob Picheta reported for CNN.

Photo Insert: Berlusconi, who had a recent history of health issues, had recently been diagnosed with leukemia.

Berlusconi, who had a recent history of health issues, had recently been diagnosed with leukemia, Milan’s San Raffaele Hospital said.

He had been admitted to the hospital before with breathing problems and attended a check-up there on Friday. The politician, who was long regarded as Italy’s most colorful public figure, was elected prime minister three times and served for a total of nine years, longer than anyone since fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

Affectionately nicknamed “Il Cavaliere” (The Knight), his career was marked by a series of political, financial and personal scandals, many of which landed him in court.

He was tried on charges ranging from tax evasion and bribery to corruption and having sex with an underage prostitute. But only one case stuck – a 2012 conviction for tax evasion in a deal involving television rights. 

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

Berlusconi was voted out of parliament in 2013. But never one to give up the fight, he re-emerged in early 2018 as a kind of grandfatherly elder statesman, the kingmaker of a right-wing alliance involving his Forza Italia party.

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