Fox News confirmed Thursday morning that its founder, Roger Ailes, has died at age 77. It was first reported by Drudge Report, who published a statement from the former network executive’s wife.
The message from Ailes’ wife, Elizabeth, reads:
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…
Fox News initially cited Drudge Report in delivering the news on “Fox & Friends.” CNN confirmed the report, saying they spoke to Fox News anchor Sean Hannity. NPR also confirmed the death shortly after the initial Drudge story.
[ Related: Friends mourn Ailes. Enemies, not so much. ]
Ailes resigned from Fox in 2016 after a series of sexual harassment allegations from female staff members at the network. He was previously a media consultant on Richard Nixon’s 1968 campaign, and a career of politics and TV production eventually led him to the presidency of CNBC in 1993. Rupert Murdoch hired him to launch Fox News in 1996.
New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman, whose reporting helped lead to Ailes’ resignation, and CNN have reported that family friends said Ailes fell at his Palm Beach home lat week, suffered complications due to a possible blood clot and slipped into a coma.