Roger Ailes, the iconic founder and former president of Fox News, has died at 77, his family said Thursday.

Statement from Elizabeth Ailes:

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…

The news was first reported by Drudge Report.

He reportedly died from a blood clot after a fall at his home.

Ailes got his start in television right after graduating from Ohio University, taking an entry-level role on The Mike Douglas Show before working his way up to executive producer by age 25.

After a stint at CNBC, he founded Fox News in 1996 and built it into the country’s top cable news network, before departing in July 2016 amid sexual harassment allegations.

At the time of Ailes’ departure, Executive Chairman of News Corp Rupert Murdoch said, “Roger Ailes has made a remarkable contribution to our company and our country … Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organization and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years.”

As The Hollywood Reporter described:

Ailes was an NBC executive who ran CNBC in the 1990s before Murdoch hired him to launch Fox News in 1996 to a mere 17 million cable homes. Conservatives embraced the upstart news network, and within a decade it was routinely drawing more viewers than competitors CNN and MSNBC — combined.

 Fox News personalities reacted to the news:


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