On December 3 in the year 1904, one of the richest and most powerful businessmen in Latin America was born in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. His name was Roberto Marinho, the founder of media conglomerate Organizações Globo.
Roberto Marinho was the son of a newspaper publisher. At the age of 21, he took over the newspaper after his father died. During those times when newspaper publishing was not profitable, he was able to make O Globo newspaper not only survived but also produced profits. He himself learned how to be a journalist and rose to become editor. In the 1940s, he expanded into radio broadcasting. In 1957, he mortgaged his home to set up his first television station. Soon, his TV stations captured millions of viewers due to the popularity of its tele-novelas which were interspersed with sensational news.
In the next decade, Roberto Marinho became one of the richest Brazilians. With money, came power and influence, especially in politics. Although he claimed to be a liberal and a patriot, he was closed to the generals who ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985. He was an adversary and then an admirer of former President Luiz Lula da Silva.
Roberto Marinho died in 2003 at the age of 98. He married three times. His third wife whom he married at age 84 was a former Miss France. The company he founded, Grupo Globo remains the largest media conglomerate in Latin America, having 115 TV stations and associates and numerous publications informing and entertaining a huge number of Brazilians. It is now controlled by his three sons with the eldest Roberto Irineu as chairman of the board.