Roger Ailes dies at 77

Roger Ailes, the controversial former CEO of Fox News, was reported dead Thursday morning at the age of 77.

Ailes, 77, was the CEO and chairman of the network before he was pushed out a year ago following multiple sexual harassment allegations.

The network initially announced his death by quoting the Drudge Report, which posted a statement from Ailes' wife, Elizabeth Ailes.

Former President George H.W. Bush tweeted that while his "friend" Ailes "wasn't ideal", he may not have been elected president without him.

Ailes, who reshaped television news over five decades in the TV and entertainment industry, was 77. In Zev Chafets's 2013 book, "Roger Ailes: Off Camera", Ailes said, "Because of my hemophilia, I've been prepared to face death all of my life".

New York Magazine's Gabriel Sherman tweeted on Thursday that he had spoken to a friend of the Ailes family, who told him that the former Fox CEO "had some kind of blood clot" last week while in Palm Beach, Florida, and "suffered complications".

Many prominent conservatives paid respect to Ailes, who advised a number of Republican presidential candidates before helping launch Fox News.

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He created Fox News, a conservative cable news network that at the time was just what the country needed. I'll miss life, though.

Fox News became 21st Century Fox's most profitable channel, reaping a massive profit under Ailes and netting an average of 2.2 million prime-time viewers. "He has dramatically and forever changed the political and the media landscape singlehandedly for the better". Ailes, who had been a consultant to Republican presidents, was ousted from the network previous year under the cloud of a series of sexual harassment allegations. "Many people out there would say he saved this country by starting the Fox News Channel", Earhardt said.

Roger Ailes at a TCA event.

But in little more than two weeks, both his legacy and job unraveled following allegations by former anchor Gretchen Carlson that he had forced her out of Fox News after she spurned his sexual advances. It's only fitting, then, that whenever Trump does leave office-and eventually when he too leaves this mortal coil-he will exit precisely as Ailes did: richer and with a trail of abused women and despondent sycophants behind him.

His crowning achievement at Fox News, however, was sullied in his final months by the charges of sexual misconduct.

Ailes resigned in July 2016 after allegations that he sexually harassed women employed by the network. Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organization and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years.

Ailes worked on a series of campaigns until 1993 when he became president of CNBC and helped start up the America's Talking cable network, which became MSNBC.

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