Date and place of birth: Sept. 29, 1936. Milan
Current position: President of the centre-right Forza Italia party that he founded in 1993 and relaunched in 2013, media tycoon and one of Italy's richest men.
Previous position: Italy's longest-serving prime minister since World War II, MP, founder of family holding Fininvest and broadcaster Mediaset, former president of AC Milan.
Education: degree from Milan University in Law.
What you should know: Silvio Berlusconi has been a dominant figure of Italian politics from 1993 until today. He founded the center right Forza Italia party and won three elections, in 1994, 2001 and 2008 and has served more years as prime minister than anyone else in postwar Italy. Before that he created a vast business empire spanning television, publishing, the AC Milan football team and residential construction, all of which are owned by his unlisted Fininvest family holding company. Twice married and the father of five children, Mr Berlusconi divorced following his involvement in a sex scandal surrounding his "bunga bunga" parties with young women at his private residence. Acquitted by an appeals court from charges of abuse of office and paying for sex with a minor, Mr Berlusconi has been barred from holding public office and ordered to do community service to serve a 2013 tax fraud sentence.