Lost Sambista

A Brazil never seen.

Silvio Santos – an amazing Brazilian

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If Silvio Santos had been born in America he would have been veneered by generations of businessmen, and held as an example of a self made millionaire.

The guy is amazing, he started his life as a street salesman at the age of 14 selling covers for documents. His talent with people would earn him an invitation to run an on board radio station on one of the boats that link Rio to Paqueta, a beautiful and traditional island in the Guanabara Bay. He served the army as a parachuter and after that he went on to the radio where his talent lead him to present TV Globo’s most popular program in the seventies simply called Silvio Santos.

The show lasted all Sunday and was watched everywhere by everyone. It was as cheesy as one can get but was also captivating and creative although it did imitate TV formulas from the US. His uniqueness was that his audience was not the elite or for clever people; he communicated to the ordinary folk and they responded with love and by making him the most successful presenter in Brazilian history, if not worldwide.

His programs were linked to his sales by credit company called the Bau da Felicidade ( the Chest of Happiness) in a way that one could not differentiate the sponsor with the presenter. This extremely clever idea made him wealthy, so rich that he went on to buy his own TV Channel and to become a TV Mogul.

Silvio never lost his love for the common people and still presents his program with the same vitality in his ripe age of of 82, although he does not stay on air the whole day long. It is still successful and his charm has not been lost. Another amazing fact about him is that his real name is Senor Abravanel and that he descends from a famous Jewish Scolar, who worked for the King of Spain during the inquisition but who refused to convert to Christianity to save his skin.

All in all gentleman in the photo above is a one and only occurrence in the Brazilan gallery of great characters and deserves everyone’s respect.

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