Former Fox News executive Roger Ailes dead at 77

Roger Ailes, former chairman and CEO of Fox News, has died. He was 77.

According to a family friend, Ailes fell at his home in Palm Beach, Florida last week, CNN reported -- he suffered complications and slipped into a coma.

Ailes’ death was first reported by the Drudge Report. Ailes’ wife, Elizabeth Ailes, released the following statement:

"I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning. 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. 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 dead, we celebrate his life."

Fox News posted on Twitter Thursday morning about the former chairman and CEO's passing.

Ailes started Fox News almost from scratch in 1996 and built it into not just a cable news ratings leader but a profound influence on the right wing of American politics.

Ailes left the network last year after a slew of sexual harassment claims. Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox anchor, sued him for sexual harassment, and other women came forward to support her claims.

Ailes resigned July 21.  He was given a $40 million payment to leave the network.

His cause of death is unknown.

Many high-profile celebrities and news personalities posted about Ailes' passing: