Politics Former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes dead at 77

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Roger Ailes' wife, Elizabeth, announced his death Thursday morning.

Roger Ailes at a special screening of "Kingsman: The Secret Service" at the SVA Theatre in 2015 in New York. play

Roger Ailes at a special screening of "Kingsman: The Secret Service" at the SVA Theatre in 2015 in New York.

(Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
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Former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes has died, his wife, Elizabeth, announced Thursday morning.

Elizabeth Ailes released the following statement to the Drudge Report: "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."

Fox News confirmed his death.

Ailes fell and hit his head, and was seriously bleeding eight days before death, according to a Palm Beach police report cited by the Associated Press.

Ailes, a political and television-industry titan, resigned as the CEO and chairman of Fox News in July after 20 years at the network following accusations of sexual harassment from several women at the company. Former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against Ailes earlier that month, and Megyn Kelly, then still an anchor at the network, released a memoir last year in which she accused him of making unwanted sexual advances on her.

Throughout his life, Ailes had an undeniable effect on American culture and politics.

"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," CNN reported.

Ailes got his start in politics working on Richard Nixon's successful presidential campaign in 1968. He later worked as a media consultant for Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

More recently, Ailes served as an informal adviser to President Donald Trump, helping him prepare for the debates against Hillary Clinton.

Fox News executive chairman Rupert Murdoch, who took over the channel after Ailes left, released the following statement:

Everybody at Fox News is shocked and grieved by the death of Roger Ailes.

A brilliant broadcaster, Roger played a huge role in shaping America's media over the last 30 years. He will be remembered by the many people on both sides of the camera he discovered, nurtured and promoted.

Roger and I shared a big idea which he executed in a way no one else could have. In addition, Roger was a great patriot who never ceased fighting for his beliefs.

At 21st Century Fox we will always be enormously grateful for the great business he built. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Elizabeth and son Zachary.