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Sílvio Santos (born on December 12, 1930) is a TV show host in Brazil and owner of SBT, the second largest Brazilian television network.
Santos was born in Rio de Janeiro and had a knack for business from a young age. He began working as a street vendor. He is Jewish and of Turkish and Greek background. Despite his initial job as a street vendor, he had a strong affinity for artistic endeavors and began working on radio, the circus and television, but without abandoning entrepreneurial activities. His nickname in the old days was "O peru que fala" (the talking turkey) because of his blushed skin appearance.
He became one of the major TV show hosts on Brazilian TV. His major achievement was to found SBT in 1981. He is one of the richest men in Brazil and still continues working as a TV show host. His characteristic laughter and his special "tie" microphone (oversized and obsolete, but a trademark) is one of the trademarks of Brazilian television. More than a simple show host, entertainer and businessman, Silvio Santos is part of the popular culture in Brazil, even having his own version of "Silvio Santos facts", usually praising his huge bank account.
He is also one of the most imitated characters on the Brazilian TV, side by side with Pelé, Roberto Carlos (singer), and Pope John Paul II.
He has influenced Brazilian television in many ways, particularly by producing Brazilian versions of popular American shows such as Câmera Escondida (Candid Camera), Show do Milhão (Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?), O Grande Perdedor (The Biggest Loser), Roda a Roda (Wheel of Fortune), Family Feud, Topa ou Não Topa (Deal or No Deal) and Ídolos (The Idol series).
He was a candidate in the Brazilian presidential elections of 1989, but was disqualified during the campaign, on a technicality.
The Grupo Silvio Santos (Silvio Santos Group in English), is a Brazilian hold lided by the Brazilian midia-man Silvio Santos.
The principal member of the holding is SBT, the third network television in Brazil. The group also control the Panamericano Bank, the Baú da Felicidade, the Tele Sena, the Teatro Imprensa and many other investiments.
The group is now construting a hotel in Guarujá and a mall in São Paulo.