Former Fox News Chairman, CEO Roger Ailes dead at 77

Roger Ailes, the former Chairman and CEO of Fox News, has died at the age of 77, according to Fox News.

His widow, Elizabeth Ailes, confirmed the news in a statement.

"I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning," the statement read. "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."

Ailes founded Fox News in 1996 and built it into the nation's long-running No. 1 cable news network. He resigned from Fox in July amid charges of sexual harassment.

The founder of Fox News left under a cloud of controversy last August. The sequence of events that led to his departure began when Gretchen Carlson sued him after her contract as a daytime Fox host was not renewed. Ailes strongly denied her allegations of sexual harassment and wrongful termination.

At the time of Ailes' his departure, Executive Chairman of News Corp Rupert Murdoch said, "Roger Ailes has made a remarkable contribution to our company and our country ... Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organization and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years.”

He was born in Warren, Ohio, and attended Ohio University in Athens, where he majored in radio and television. 

In 1984, Ailes worked on President Reagan's re-election campaign. Four years later, he was a key player in the successful presidential campaign of George H.W. Bush. helping to plot effective messaging and television advertising strategies.

He later helped build CNBC before Murdoch chose him to launch Fox News.

As recently at last fall's election, and after his career at Fox had ended, Ailes reportedly advised President Trump in preparation for debates.

Ailes and Elizabeth were married in 1998. Their son son, Zachary, was born on New Year’s Day 2000.

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