|Born||Robero Pisani Marinho
3 December 1904
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
|Died||6 August 2003
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
|Known for||founder of Rede Globo|
|Net worth||US$ 6.4 Billion (2000)|
Roberto Pisani Marinho (December 3, 1904 – August 6, 2003) was a publisher and businessman who expanded into radio and television, creating a large, successful media conglomerate known as Organizações Globo. He founded and was the president of the Brazilian TV channel, Globo, a television network that now has 113 stations and associates.
One of the most powerful men in Brazil, Marinho was very cosy with the military regime and prone to use his papers and TV channels as platforms for his ultra-conservative views. Marinho was criticized in the British documentary, Beyond Citizen Kane (1994), for his role in founding TV Globo and ties to the military dictatorship of the period. Globo went to court to prevent release and showing of the film in Brazil, but it went viral on the Internet after the turn of the 21st century. By his death, Marinho was a billionaire several times over.
Roberto Marinho was born in Rio de Janeiro to Irineu Marinho, a publisher, and his wife, who were of Portuguese and Italian descent, respectively. He was reared as a Roman Catholic and was educated in local schools.
On July 29, 1925, Irineu Marinho started a morning newspaper called O Globo in Rio de Janeiro, which he had intended to complement his afternoon paper. He died three weeks later. At the age of 21, Roberto fancied being a journalist and appointed himself as a trainee reporter at the newspaper he inherited. He advanced to chief editor six years later.
In the 1940s, Marinho expanded into commercial radio. In the 1960s, he took his company into television. On April 26, 1965, he founded Rede Globo TV, which became the principal TV station in Brazil and the third largest in the world. This was during the period of the military dictatorship, which pressured the media to support the government.
According to journalist Aristotle Drummond, Marinho was a loyal Catholic who opposed the "liberation theology" developed in Latin America in the 1970s, in which leading clerics supported popular political movements seeking social justice. He criticized his friend Helder Câmara, who was archbishop of the "miserably poor" Olinda and Recife diocese from 1964 to 1985, during the worst of the military dictatorship. Marinho greatly admired John Paul II as pope.
By the 1970s, Marinho was considered one of South America´s richest men and one of the most important media moguls of the world. The holding Organizações Globo controls not only the newspaper and TV Globo, but also a chain of radio stations, such as Rádio Globo and Rádio CBN, as well as many other cable TV channels. Globo Television reaches almost every home in Brazil through 113 stations and associates. The network is powerful enough to decide when Brazil´s soccer matches kick off.
With the production of telenovelas (soap-operas), TV Globo has capitalized on its reach. It has exported many of the programs to various countries, earning more in royalties and other revenues. The Slave Girl Isaura is one of the topmost successes of the company since it was sold to more than 80 countries, including China, in the 1970s.
Globo’s reach is often compared to Italy’s Fininvest, now Mediaset, run by Silvio Berlusconi, a former Italian Prime Minister, although the second has no properties in other media than television.
Legacy and awards
- Jacarepaguá Airport in Rio de Janeiro is named after Roberto Marinho.
- He was awarded the Maria Moors Cabot Prize.
- "Roberto Marinho", Veja, 3 June 2002
- "Morte de Roberto Marinho e destaque na imprensa internacional" (Death of Roberto Marinho is featured in the international press), Correiodo Brasil (Portuguese)
- BRAZIL-THE MEDIA published by "Rough Guides"
- Aristotle Drummond, "Os 105 Anos de Roberto Marinho" (The 105-Year Roberto Marinho), Debates Culturais website (Portuguese), 12 October 2009
- Hugh O'Shaughnessy, "Helder Câmara – Brazil's archbishop of the poor", The Guardian, 2009, accessed 23 June 2013
- "Obituary: Roberto Marinho". The Economist. 16 August 2003. p. 76.