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.”
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) May 18, 2017
Fox News posted on Twitter Thursday morning about the former chairman and CEO’s passing.
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
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:
OMG #RogerAiles is gone, devastating news, & Erica & I send our condolences to Beth, their son Zack & the entire family. He was a great man
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) May 18, 2017
Love and prayers to Beth and Zach. R.I.P Roger – you changed television as we know it. https://t.co/1vjhGFQaDc
— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) May 18, 2017
Terribly sad news. R.I.P. https://t.co/K90HHnc1fx
— Brit Hume (@brithume) May 18, 2017
Roger Ailes founded one of the most important and successful media outlets in American history. I will miss his friendship dearly. RIP.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) May 18, 2017
— Kimberly Guilfoyle (@kimguilfoyle) May 18, 2017