Roger Ailes, who built Fox News into a powerful cable giant that transformed both American television and politics, has died at the age of 77, Agence France-Presse reports, citing an announcement from the network.
The Fox co-founder, a consultant to Republican presidents and a central figure in the conservative US political movement, was ousted from the network in July last year after a sexual harassment lawsuit from former news host Gretchen Carlson.
His wife’s statement, first published on the conservative Drudge Report, said: “I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning.”
Ailes, she said, “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”.
Under the leadership of Ailes, Fox became America’s most widely watched cable news channel, home to key conservative political commentators and drawing an audience distinct from rivals CNN and MSNBC, AFP said.
Ailes, who was a hemophiliac, was hospitalized in recent days after complications from a fall, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the situation.
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