Italian Politician Silvio Berlusconi Dies at Age 86 — What Was His Cause of Death?

On June 12, 2023, reports announced that Silvio Berlusconi, the former prime minister of Italy, died at 86 years old. What was his cause of death?

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Jun. 12 2023, Published 12:07 p.m. ET

Silvio Berlusconi
Source: Getty Images

Silvio Berlusconi, the billionaire media tycoon and scandal-ridden former prime minister of Italy, has passed away. His press office confirmed his death on Monday, June 12, 2023.

He was 86 years old.

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What happened? Here's what we know about Silvio Berlusconi's cause of death.

Silvio Berlusconi getting into a car in 2011.
Source: Getty Images

Silvio Berlusconi in 2011

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What was Silvio Berlusconi's cause of death?

In April 2023, the politician was hospitalized in Milan and treated in the ICU after suffering breathing problems due to severe pneumonia caused by a form of leukemia. Silvio reportedly started chemotherapy in early April.

He was discharged on May 19 but was hospitalized again on Friday, June 9 — Silvio's health dramatically deteriorated, and he died at 3:30 a.m. EST on June 12, 2023, due to complications from a severe form of leukemia.

According to the Milan Archdiocese, a state funeral will be held in the Milan Duomo on Wednesday, June 14.

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Silvio Berlusconi looking bored during a Senate debate in Rome on Dec. 13, 2010
Source: Getty Images

Silvio Berlusconi at a Senate debate in Rome on Dec. 13, 2010

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni paid tribute to him in a video message titled: "To God, Silvio." According to CNN, she said Silvio was "above all a fighter," adding, "He was a man who was never afraid to stand up for his beliefs."

"And it was exactly that courage and that determination that made him one of the most influential men in the history of Italy, that allowed him to make real breakthroughs in the world of politics, communication, and business," she said.

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Giorgia concluded, "With him, Italy learned that it should never have limits imposed on it. He learned that he should never give up. With him, we have fought, won, lost many battles. And for him too, we will bring home the goals that we set ourselves together. Goodbye, Silvio."

Silvio Berlusconi served as Italy's prime minister in four governments: from 1994 to 1995, then from 2001 to 2006, and again from 2008 to 2011. His political career was shrouded in controversy and legal troubles.

Among a number of controversial moments, Silvio made insensitive comments about the LGBTQ+ community and called himself the "Jesus Christ of politics." In June 2013, the uber-rich man was found guilty of paying an underage woman for sex (he was eventually cleared of the charges) and was also convicted of tax fraud.

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