Silvio Berlusconi, the flamboyant former Italian prime minister, has died at the age of 86, leaving behind a controversial legacy.
Berlusconi's media empire, including television networks and newspapers, played a significant role in shaping Italian culture and politics.
His entry into politics was marred by legal troubles, including allegations of bribery, ties with the Mafia, and providing false testimony
Berlusconi consolidated power by controlling both his own media outlets and state-run broadcasting, leading to concerns of excessive influence
He developed personal relationships with leaders like Vladimir Putin and Moammar Gadhafi
Despite facing multiple corruption trials and scandals, Berlusconi managed to remain in political office for a considerable period, becoming Italy's longest-serving prime minister.
His popularity among Italians was attributed to a disregard for moral principles and a willingness to flout laws and civic duties.
Berlusconi defied expectations, staging a political comeback as a senator and contributing to Italian coalition governments, despite a conviction for tax evasion in 2014.