Fox News founder Roger Ailes dead at 77

Gladys Abbott
May 19, 2017

His wife Elizabeth said in a statement on Thursday he was a patriot who was profoundly grateful for the opportunities his country gave him. Ailes also served as an adviser to President Donald Trump's campaign.

Fox News executive chairman Rupert Murdoch issued a statement on his death, calling Ailes "a brilliant broadcaster".

"I'd like to offer my condolences to the wife and son of Roger Ailes". Lawsuits filed by former hosts Gretchen Carlson and Andrea Tantaros alleged Ailes created a toxic culture at the network where sexual harassment was permitted.

Ailes was 77, according to the website of Fox News, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.

Former President George H.W. Bush tweeted: "He wasn't flawless, but Roger Ailes was my friend & I loved him".

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Kimberly Guilfoyle, a co-host of Fox News' "The Five", called Ailes a "friend and mentor".

By mid-2016 Ailes still ruled supreme as he prepared to celebrate Fox News' 20th anniversary.

"Today, America lost one of its great patriotic warriors", Hannity said on Twitter.

Over his two decades of building Fox News into a cable news powerhouse, Ailes is credited with launching the careers of some of the biggest names in television, including Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren.

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Under the leadership of Ailes, Fox became the most widely watched cable news channel, home to key conservative political commentators and drawing an audience distinct from rivals CNN and MSNBC. The suit triggered similar claims from other women and an in-house investigation at Fox.

He was reported to have received $40 million in an exit agreement with Fox.

Ailes categorically denied all of the accusations.

Ailes went on to advise President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and then-Vice President George H.W. Bush in 1988 for their election campaigns, according to Folkenflik.

Ailes, who worked for several Presidents, wrote a 300-page memo for President Nixon in 1970 outlining a media plan.

This media mogul also had a huge impact on American politics.

In an interview with NY magazine, other women described horrifying run-ins with Ailes during his career in broadcasting: "He reclined on a couch in a seating area under a map that had flags of all the cities they were syndicated in".

Ailes then worked in NY as consultant in both entertainment and politics, playing a role in successful campaigns by Reagan and Bush in the 1980s.

Brent Bozell, the president of the Media Research Center, a conservative watchdog group, said Thursday that "the Left would command a monopoly control of the so-called "news" media but for the Fox News Channel, and FNC would not exist but for him".

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