Roger Ailes, the bombastic and controversial founder and CEO of Fox News ousted last year in a sexual harassment scandal, has died.
Ailes, who reshaped television news over five decades in the TV and entertainment industry, was 77. His death was announced in a statement by his wife, Elizabeth Ailes, to The Drudge Report.
“I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning,” she said in the statement. She called him “a loving husband” and “patriot.”
Ailes, who recently purchased a $36 million mansion in Palm Beach, Fla., apparently hit his head after falling in the bathroom of the residence on May 10, according to a Palm Beach police event report.
The unidentified 911 caller told the dispatcher at 1:49 p.m. that the victim, identified only as a 77-year-old male, suffered “serious bleeding” and that the fall was “accidental.” The report quotes the caller as saying that the victim was suffering “serious bleeding” and “is not completely alert.”
Few other details were immediately available, including whether the victim was taken to the hospital.
News of Ailes’ death prompted widespread expressions of shock and grief from numerous political, entertainment and media figures.
Former President George H. W. Bush tweeted: “He wasn’t perfect, but Roger Ailes was my friend & I loved him. Not sure I would have been President w/o his great talent, loyal help. RIP.”
Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman for 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, called Ailes a “great patriot” and said everyone at the news channel is “shocked and grieved” by his death.
“A brilliant broadcaster, Roger played a huge role in shaping America’s media over the last thirty years,” Murdoch said in a statement. “He will be remembered by the many people on both sides of the camera that he discovered, nurtured and promoted.”
In a series of messages, Fox News host Sean Hannity tweeted tributes to his onetime boss, saying he was “like a second father.”
“Today, America lost one of its great patriotic warriors,” Hannity said on Twitter. “He has dramatically and forever changed the political and the media landscape, single-handedly for the better.”
He has dramatically and forever changed the political and the media landscape singlehandedly for the better. https://t.co/nZssNxFKAr
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) May 18, 2017
Source: USA Today