Roger Ailes, Former Fox News Chief, Dead at 77

May 18, 2017 Updated: May 18, 2017

NEW YORK—Roger Ailes, former chief executive of Fox News Channel, has died, a source told Reuters on Thursday.

Ailes resigned from Fox News last July following allegations of sexual harassment, marking an abrupt end to his 20-year reign over America’s most powerful cable news channel for conservatives.

Ailes was 77, according to the website of Fox News, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.

Ailes’ widow, Elizabeth Ailes, confirmed his death in a statement on the Fox News website.

Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes during a panel session titled "Democracy and the Media: Are They Compatible?" at the 2005 Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., on April 19, 2005.  (REUTERS/Fred Prouser)
Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes during a panel session titled “Democracy and the Media: Are They Compatible?” at the 2005 Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., on April 19, 2005. (REUTERS/Fred Prouser)

“I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning,” she wrote.

“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.”

Brian Kilmeade, a Fox News host, said on the channel that Ailes “helped build Fox News Channel into the powerhouse it is today.”