Breaking News: Former Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes has died, his family announced. pic.twitter.com/AksPdNSZaI
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 18, 2017
Roger Ailes, the founder and former CEO of Fox News who was ousted last year in the midst of a sexual harassment scandal, has passed away at age 77. Fox News confirmed the news in this on-air announcement and relayed a statement from Ailes’ wife, Elizabeth:
I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning. 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. During a career that stretched over more than five decades, his work in entertainment, in politics, and in news affected the lives of many millions. And so even as we mourn his death, we celebrate his life.
Ailes founded Fox News in 1996. In an obituary, the Washington Post credits him with the transformation of political coverage into a Hollywood-like pursuit of talent and sparkle. Under his direction, the Fox News network remained the touchstone of conservative coverage through most of the 2016 election. In July 2016, however, 21st Century Fox announced the resignation of Ailes, who was the subject of several sexual harassment allegations by female employees, including former network host Gretchen Carlson.
Gabriel Sherman, the New York magazine journalist who broke many of the stories that led to Ailes’ departure, followed up with some tweeted details. He indicates that Ailes had recently spent time away from his wife, and he responded with a denial to a friend who had asked if he was “suicidal.” No cause of death has yet been released, of course, but Sherman reports that Ailes had suffered a fall with complications, including a blood clot.
The Palm Beach Post confirms that Ailes took a major fall one week ago with “serious bleeding” reported by law enforcement who spoke with emergency personnel.