Roger Ailes, Former Fox News CEO, Dead At 77

Roger Ailes former Fox News chief dead at 77

Roger Ailes, former chief executive of Fox News Channel, has died at age 77, Fox New said on Thursday.

Ailes died at 77, his wife said in a statement Thursday morning.

Former President George H.W. Bush tweeted that while his "friend" Ailes "wasn't flawless", he may not have been elected president without him. Roger was a patriot, grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise-and to give back. Ailes was the former Fox chairman and CEO of the network until he stepped down amid a sexual harassment scandal last summer.

The cofounder of Fox News resigned from the network in July, his legacy marred by accusations of serial sexual harassment by multiple women at the company.

Under the leadership of Ailes, Fox became one of America's most popular television networks, with a core audience that remains distinctly different from those of more traditional news rivals CNN and MSNBC.

Former President George H.W. Bush, for example, wrote that he owed a debt of gratitude to the former political consultant for helping to get him elected to the nation's highest office.

Long before Fox News, Ailes was a Republican operative who saw long before most what television could do for the party.

Some will mourn, some will cheer, but there is no doubt that Roger Ailes left his imprint on the Media establishment in America.

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Through it all, Fox News has retained the identity Ailes forged for the network as a leading platform for conservative opinion and a counterweight to other news outlets that Fox hosts generally regard with disdain.

The ex-O'Reilly Factor star also noted that in his almost 20 years working for Ailes, the ex-FNC head never pushed him to say anything on the air.

Roger Ailes, President of Fox News Channel in April 2012 in New York City.

Others were more blunt: "American politics would have been infinitely better off had Roger Ailes gone to barber college", blogger Charles Pierce tweeted. He will be remembered by the many people on both sides of the camera he discovered, nurtured and promoted.

After Ailes' ouster, news broke about similar allegations against Bill O'Reilly, who lost his job in April.

Ailes' wife, Elizabeth Ailes, confirmed her husband's death in a statement to Drudge Report. "Roger was a great patriot who never ceased fighting for his beliefs". He added that "Roger and I shared a big idea which he executed in a way no one else could have".

But it was at Fox News that Ailes truly made his mark.

In 1996, Ailes helped launch Fox News, which dramatically changed the media landscape.

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