Roger Ailes, the former chairman and CEO of Fox News, has died, the network said Thursday morning (May 18), citing the family.
"Roger was a loving husband to me, to his son Zachary, and a loyal friend to many", Elizabeth Ailes wrote. In the statement, she called him a patriot who "affected the lives of many millions".
CNN is reporting that Ailes suffered a serious fall last week and fell into a coma on Wednesday night.
"In the years I worked with Ailes he was a great mentor, deeply patriotic, committed to Fox News and really anxious about America", Gingrich, a Republican, wrote on Twitter.
"A brilliant broadcaster, Roger played a huge role in shaping America's media over the last 30 years".
Ailes founded Fox News in 1996 and had served as the network's CEO throughout history until he left the network in July 2016 amid sexual harassment claims. With its slogan "Fair & Balanced", the network grew into not just the cable news ratings leader but a profound influence on the right wing of American politics.
Ailes was arguably the most powerful man in American media when he suddenly lost his job last summer.
His career with Fox News ended when he resigned a year ago amid allegations of sexual harassment.
Carlson alleged at least six conditions in which Ailes referred to her body, intimidated her or used demeaning language.
All told, Fox and its parent company have paid $45 million in settlements related to sexual harassment scandals. "He will be remembered by the many people on both sides of the camera that he discovered, nurtured and promoted", the statement read. While the idea was never taken up by the Republican president, it was the germination of a concept that eventually turned into the Fox News channel, a conservative powerhouse that debuted on October 7, 1996. At least a half-dozen other women, including former Fox News star Megyn Kelly, came forward to accuse Ailes, who denied wrongdoing. With television you just sit - watch - listen.
A former GOP operative to candidates including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and a one-time adviser to President Donald Trump, Ailes' TV network changed the face of 24-hour news.