MILAN – Silvio Berlusconi is marking his 80th birthday quietly with his family, amid a flurry of greetings and reflections on his political career in Italy spanning more than two decades.
Italian television and dailies used the occasion Thursday to contemplate the legacy of the three-time former premier and billionaire media mogul, with Corriere della Sera commenting that Berlusconi had "colonized the imagination of the Italians like no other political leader."
Commentators also noted his frequent gaffes, long judicial battles and penchant for unusual headgear.
Berlusconi's political fortunes have waned since being ousted from parliament over a tax fraud conviction. He underwent open-heart surgery earlier this year.
The AC Milan football club posted a birthday video for Berlusconi on its website, while political allies tweeted their greetings under the hashtag Berlusconi80.