Thursday morning it was announced that the founder of Fox News, Roger Ailes has died at 77-years-old.
The breaking news was confirmed by his wife Elizabeth Ailes who released the following statement:
“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…”
After news of Ailes’ death broke many within conservative media have spoke out, remembering a man that built a force to be reckoned with in the form of the nation’s long-running No. 1 cable news network.
Tweeting that “Today, America lost one of its great patriotic warriors,” Fox host Sean Hannity remembered Ailes as an individual who “has dramatically and forever changed the political and the media landscape, single-handedly for the better.”
Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham echoed similar sentiment towards Ailes, stating that “I will miss his friendship dearly,” adding “Roger Ailes founded one of the most important and successful media outlets in American history.”
Ailes was born in Warren, Ohio, and attended Ohio University in Athens, where he majored in radio and television. After graduating in 1962, he launched his career in black and white-era television by working for then-local personality Mike Douglas. When the show was syndicated a few years later, Ailes’ star rose with it.
It was during a 1967 taping of “The Mike Douglas Show” that Ailes met future president Richard Nixon, who later tapped him to serve as his executive producer for television.
That experience began a decades-long dual track in which Ailes cast long shadows over both television and politics, culminating in his founding of Fox News.
In 1984, Ailes worked on President Reagan’s re-election campaign. Four years later, he was a key player in the successful presidential campaign of George H.W. Bush, helping to plot effective messaging and television advertising strategies.
He later helped build CNBC before Murdoch chose him to launch Fox News.