Ailes' baby Fox News, which he founded with media mogul Rupert Murdoch in 1996, fundamentally reshaped conservative politics, radically changed the media landscape and inarguably fertilized the dirty muck out of which grew President Donald Trump.
Former President George H.W. Bush tweeted: "He wasn't flawless, but Roger Ailes was my friend & I loved him. 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", Drudge Report quoted Elizabeth as saying in a statement.
He was abruptly dismissed from Fox News in July 2016 in the wake of a lawsuit filed by former anchor Gretchen Carlson accusing Ailes of sexual improprieties. Multiple women came forward previous year to report sexual harassment accusations, including prominent host at the time, Megyn Kelly. Or that Ailes, who helped craft former President Richard Nixon's anger-stoked presidential campaign, informally advised Trump during his run for president. Twenty-First Century Fox noted in a recent quarterly report that it paid $45 million in settlements related to sexual harassment allegations against Ailes. In the years that followed, as NPR's David Folkenflik has reported, Ailes "kept toggling between producing television specials and serving as a political consultant, sometimes doing both at once".
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Ailes leaves behind his wife, along with their son, Zachary Ailes. They were followed by numerous public accounts of Ailes's unwanted advances and comments from Megyn Kelly and others.
Twenty-First Century Fox had no immediate statement.
Roger Ailes leaves behind a controversial legacy that will likely be viewed along partisan lines. "Roger and I shared a big idea, which he executed in a way no one else could have".
Meanwhile, most on the left reviled him for bringing reactionary conservative thought to the mainstream, his network's tenuous relationship with truth and for sexually harassing female employees for decades. "Roger was a patriot, who never ceased fighting for his beliefs". His death denies the rest of us the chance to hear his side of that particularly salacious story.
The dark cloud that Ailes resigned under did little to stem the outpouring of grief from his former Fox News colleagues Thursday morning. He later worked for other Republican leaders, from Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush to New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.