(WTXF) – Roger Ailes, who built Fox News into a cable powerhouse before leaving the company last year, died at the age of 77.
The Ohio-born television pioneer was a confidante of presidents and an acknowledged master of communications. He founded Fox News in 1996 and built it into the nation’s long-running No. 1 cable news network Ailes resigned from Fox in July amid charges of sexual harassment. Ailes left Fox News under a cloud of controversy last August. The sequence of events that led to his departure began when Gretchen Carlson sued him fter her contract as a daytime Fox host was not renewed. Ailes strongly denied her allegations of sexual harassment and wrongful termination.
His widow, Elizabeth Ailes, confirmed the news to FOX 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.”