Former Fox News chief Roger Ailes dies at 77

Blake Casey
May 22, 2017

But Ailes, whose perch at the top of Fox News ended suddenly last summer following sexual harassment allegations, also leaves behind several pending lawsuits alleging harassment or race or gender discrimination involving two dozen current or former employees. That helped catapult it to the top of the cable news network ratings.

A controversial and influential figure in American politics and entertainment, Ailes personally oversaw Fox News programming after the network's launch in 1996. Ailes resigned July 21.

Roger Ailes, who built Fox News into a cable powerhouse before leaving the company past year, died Thursday morning at age 77.

Though the particulars of Ailes' life after his exit from Fox News continue to surface in the hours after his death, Murdoch's statement added that the news giant was "a great patriot who never ceased fighting for his beliefs". For Decades RA's has impacted American politics and media.

The financial fallout from the sexual harassment claims and lawsuits, meanwhile, has continued to pile up at Fox News Channel.

Since Ailes sudden departure, Fox News has experienced even more upheaval.

He wasn't ideal, but Roger Ailes was my friend & I loved him.

"He created a new model that numerous networks have tried to copy, but no one has been as successful as he was", Shister said. Sources told ABC News he was advising Donald Trump during his preparation for the presidential debates, although Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks denied Ailes' involvement at the time.

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"I'd like to offer my condolences to the wife and son of Roger Ailes".

It was a role that Murdoch recognized in paying tribute to his friend Thursday.

Fox anchor Bill Hemmer, looking shaken, announced Ailes' death to his audience, ending his brief report by saying, softly, "Wow!"

Roger Ailes at a TCA event.

Fox hosts struggled to remain their composure as they read a statement from Ailes' wife, Elizabeth. "Roger and I shared a big idea, which he executed in a way no one else could have".

"Few people in this life will ever reach for the profound level of impact that Roger Ailes had on the country", Hannity said. "He has changed dramatically and forever the political and the media landscape, single-handedly for the better".

But the former network chairman first rose to power in Republican circles as a political operative to candidates including Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

Ailes, an OH native, began his television career in the early 1960s as a producer at The Mike Douglas Show in Cleveland, and went onto serve as media consultant for several Republican presidents, including Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.