Roger Ailes, the onetime political operative who went on to build Fox News into a cable television powerhouse before being ousted amid numerous accusations of sexual harassment, has died. He was 77 years old, and his death was confirmed Thursday morning in a statement by his wife Elizabeth to Drudge Report.
“I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning,” Elizabeth Ailes said in the statement. “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,” she added. “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…”
Known for building the Fox News empire, Ailes came under fire in recent years following a number of sexual harassment allegations. He left the network in disgrace last year. Since his ouster, Fox News was hit with a number of lawsuits, and the company also jettisoned its top host Bill O’Reilly after several women also accused him of sexual harassment.