Before Berlusconi was a world-famous politician, he was a renowned media mogul. In 1971, he started a local cable television channel called Telemilano, which grew into an empire. That empire, Mediaset, owns Italy's three largest private TV channels, but is just a portion of the former prime minister's business ventures. He controls the country's largest publishing house, a daily newspaper, and the soccer club AC Milan, all through his holdings company, Fininvest.
Above, Berlusconi leaves a press conference in Paris on Nov. 22, 1985, after making an announcement about his privately owned 5th TV channel.