Fox News co-founder Roger Ailes dies at age 77

Fox News co-founder Roger Ailes dies at age 77

The Ohio-born television pioneer was a confidante of presidents and an acknowledged master of communications. Ailes resigned July 21.

Ailes is survived by his third wife, Elizabeth, who had worked for him at CNBC as vice president of programming, and their son, Zachary.

"He really did as much as anyone to redefine the Republican Party as a party of cultural populism ... making resentment of the media, resentment of elites, resentment of liberals who were soft on crime and soft on national security central to what the Republican Party was about", David Greenberg, a Rutgers University political scientist, told AFP.

"I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning".

Former President George H.W. Bush tweeted that while his "friend" Ailes "wasn't ideal", he may not have been elected president without him.

GREENE: So what do we know about Ailes' death this morning?

His admirers, and even his critics, agree that Roger Ailes dramatically changed the media landscape, with Fox News, back in 1996.

Brian Kilmeade, another Fox News host, said on the channel that Ailes "helped build Fox News Channel into the powerhouse it is today". "For decades, RA (Roger Ailes) has impacted American politics and media".

"He will be remembered by many people on both sides of the camera that he discovered, nurtured, and promoted", Murdoch said. We do though know the impact that Roger Ailes has had on our media culture and this country.

"Roger and I shared a big idea which he executed in a way no one else could have". "Roger was a great patriot who never ceased fighting for his beliefs".

Murdoch ended the memo with prayers to Ailes' family: "At 21st Century Fox we will always be enormously grateful for the great business he built". Ailes was survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and son, Zachary. Fox host Sean Hannity called him "a second father".

"In the years I worked with Ailes he was a great mentor, deeply patriotic, committed to Fox News and really anxious about America".

Roger Ailes single-handedly rewrote the rules of TV news, building a media juggernaut to cap a landmark career. After graduating in 1962, he launched his career in black and white-era television by working for then-local personality Mike Douglas. After starting his media consultancy in 1968, he also produced a handful of Broadway shows, including 1973's "The Hot L Baltimore", which ran for three years at the Circle in the Square. Gabriel Sherman, an Ailes biographer and editor of New York Magazine, tweeted that a family friend said Ailes battled complications after suffering "some kind of blood clot".

He brought America Fox News and helped Nixon soften his surly image in 1968 and Trump's out-of-nowhere presidential bid previous year.

One longtime friend, evangelical Christian leader Ralph Reed, affectionately called Ailes "master of the universe" on Thursday, while former President George H.W. Bush tweeted that he might not have been elected without the Fox chief.

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