Roger Ailes, the controversial, visionary founder of Fox News who was forced out of the company amid a sexual harassment scandal, has died aged 77.
Ailes, a former presidential adviser, joined the network in 1996, building it into a major conservative force in American politics.
Breaking News: Former Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes has died, his family announced. pic.twitter.com/AksPdNSZaI
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 18, 2017
“I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning,” said his wife, Elizabeth Ailes, in a statement published on the Drudge Report.
“Roger was a loving husband to me, to his son Zachary, and a loyal friend to many. He was also a patriot, profoundly grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise – and to give back,” the statement said.
“During a career that stretched over more than five decades, his work in entertainment, in politics and in news affected the lives of many millions. And so even as we mourn his death, we celebrate his life,” she ended.
Ailes advised presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon, with whom he once plotted to bring Republican news to television.
Arguably no contemporary figure has shaped media and politics as profoundly as Ailes. A successful local TV producer who went on to become a key adviser to a succession of Republican presidents, he jumped at the chance to lead Fox News when the media mogul Rupert Murdoch launched the service in 1996.
Under Ailes, Fox became not just a cable news ratings leader but the popular voice of rightwing American politics and changed the very nature of cable news.
Read more at The Guardian.