Roger Ailes death: Rupert Murdoch remembers 'brilliant broadcaster'

Danny Woods
May 19, 2017

I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning surrounded by his attractive family.

That October, Ailes flipped the switch on Fox News Channel.

Mr Ailes abruptly resigned from his positions as chairman and chief executive of the TV channel and Fox Business Network in July previous year.

In a statement, Mr Ailes' wife Elizabeth said: "I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning". Roger was my best friend, the most wonderful loving husband and father to our son Zachary. 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. A second family friend also reportedly told Sherman that Ailes allegedly "fell in Palm Beach and had a blood clot from the fall".

Palm Beach county officials deemed Ailes' death as "accidental".

Authorities do not believe foul play was involved.

Ailes started Fox News in 1996, providing an outlet for conservative views. The network's ratings quickly exploded as it became an influential force in the political world.

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Former President George H.W. Bush said over Twitter "he wasn't flawless, but Roger Ailes was my friend & I loved him".

Before launching Fox News, Mr Ailes was a Republican political operative and served as an aide to President Richard Nixon. I knew Roger for over 30 years and from the start I was in awe of his talent.

"Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organization and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years", the July statement read.

Pour one out for Roger Ailes, who's out there somewhere in the great, mysterious beyond, twirling exhaustedly for all eternity. "Fox News has given voice to those who were ignored by the traditional networks and has been one of the great commercial success stories of modern media".

Ailes graduated from Ohio University in Athens in 1962.

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.

Gabriel Sherman, Ailes' biographer and the reporter who broke this story, was the subject of a long-running discrediting and intimidation campaign by Ailes that included a 400-page dossier; NY magazine eventually hired a bodyguard for Sherman following a Politico report that Ailes had said he would "send people to beat the shit out of" Sherman. "His quest for power consumed him".

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