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Fox News co-founder Roger Ailes, 77, dies

Fox News co-founder Roger Ailes, 77, dies

A statement from his wife Elizabeth said she was "profoundly sad and heartbroken", calling him a "patriot".

"Roger Ailes founded one of the most important and successful media outlets in American history", said conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. Ailes was the former Fox chairman and CEO of the network until he stepped down amid a sexual harassment scandal last summer.

Ailes, who resigned from his post at Fox amid sexual harassment allegations, fell in his bathroom on May 10 and suffered a serious cut and subsequent subdural hematoma, or bleeding on the brain.

Prior to creating his television empire, Ailes worked as a political consultant for Republican presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

"The power of Fox News can not be overstated in Republican politics", said GOP strategist Alex Conant, who advised two presidential campaigns.

"The sudden passing of Roger Ailes will make it hard for Fox News to refute the allegations against him as his testimony was not secured by sworn testimony to date", attorney Douglas H. Wigodr told Radar.

"Today America lost one of its great patriotic warriors", Fox News host Sean Hannity said on the channel on Thursday. "Ailes was a brilliant TV executive who saw an opportunity two decades ago to build a conservative news source and seized it, and then with his singular and rigid focus he succeeded beyond even his wildest dreams".

Ailes leaves behind his wife, along with their son, Zachary Ailes.

After his ouster, at least 20 other women came forward with allegations of sexual harassment against Ailes.

"Many people out there would say that he saved this country by starting the Fox News channel", added anchor Ainsley Earhardt.

"Roger Ailes was a genius at politics and the news media".

In many ways, Ailes was Fox News.

Roger Ailes, who died Thursday at age 77, appears by all counts to not be the greatest guy.

A miniseries about Ailes, titled Secure and Hold: The Last Days of Roger Ailes, was already in the works at Showtime, based in part of Sherman's book.

In 1996 he helped launch Fox News, which would dramatically change the media landscape. His death denies the rest of us the chance to hear his side of that particularly salacious story.

Fox News has hired numerous Republican lawmakers, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and John Kasich (before he became Ohio's governor), as well as those whose political careers were behind them, such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.


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