Roger Ailes died at age 77 this morning. Now Fox News viewers are wondering what happened to the Fox News titan who helped Donald Trump with his presidential campaign.
Ailes' family confirmed his death in a statement, but no cause or location of his death were reported. Authorities will likely release more details later today.
“I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning,” his wife Elizabeth said. “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.”
Fox News’ Sean Hannity also took to Twitter to mourn Ailes’ death writing,” Today America lost one of its great patriotic warriors.” Bret Baier also took to Twitter and wrote, “Love and prayers to Beth and Zach. R.I.P Roger – you changed television as we know it.”
Ailes leaves behind a bittersweet legacy at Fox News. He was with the network practically from the start in 1996. As chairman and chief executive of the Fox News Channel, he turned the network into the conservative news powerhouse it is today.
However, Ailes’ was ultimately ousted at Fox News after he faced sexual harassment claims. Gretchen Carlson claimed he sabotaged her career when she refused to have sex with him. And the sexual harassment accusations didn’t end there. 25 other women including Megyn Kelly claimed that Ailes sexually harassed them over the five decades he worked in TV.
The accusations included him kissing women without their consent and telling women to give him sexual favors in order to advance their careers. While he denied the claims, he ultimately had to resign from Fox News. Fox then paid Carlson $20 million to settle the claim. Ohio University also took his name off its newsroom and returned the $500,000 gift he had made.
Ailes did have a long career. He was an aide to President Richard Nixon, worked with President Ronald Reagan, worked for President George H.W. Bush, and ultimately shaped Fox News to be what it is today.
What are your memories of Roger Ailes? Let us know your take in the comments section below.