Roger Ailes, who built Fox News Channel into a ratings powerhouse over two decades before he was forced out in a sexual harassment scandal, died Thursday. He was 77.
The death was announced by his family and reported on Fox News.
Ailes started the network 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 was arguably the most powerful man in media when he suddenly lost his job last summer. Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox anchor, sued him for sexual harassment, and other women came forward to support her claims. Ailes resigned July 21.
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
The Drudge Report posted the following statement from Elizabeth Ailes, Roger Ailes' wife.
"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 death, we celebrate his life..."