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Fox News Mastermind Roger Ailes Has Died

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Roger Ailes, the founder as well as former Chairman and CEO of Fox News, has died at the age of 77.

Ailes founded Fox News in 1996 and built it into the country's top cable news network. He left the company in July 2016 following allegations that he sexually harassed female colleagues.

Ailes' death was confirmed by his wife Elizabeth Ailes in a 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," the statement read.

Ailes was a media consultant for Republican presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and for Rudy Giuliani's first mayoral campaign. In 2016, he was also an adviser to the Donald Trump campaign, where he assisted with debate preparation.

Ailes was an acknowledged master of communications and was known for his focus on airing conservative opinions.

Ailes abruptly resigned from Fox in July 2016 after former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against him, alleging wrongful termination and sexual harassment.

Born in Warren, Ohio, Ailes attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where he majored in radio and television. Ailes suffered from hemophilia and was often hospitalized as a youth.

After graduating in 1962, he launched his career in television by working for KYW-TV for a then-locally produced take-variety show, "The Mike Douglas Show." When the show was syndicated nationally a few years later, Ailes star rose with it.

In 1967, Ailes met future President Richard Nixon on the Mike Douglas Show, who later called on Ailes to serve as his executive producer for television.

He also worked on the campaign to re-elect Ronald Reagan in 1984 and was later credited for guiding George H.W. Bush to victory in the Republican primaries and the come-from-behind victory over Michael Dukakis.

Ailes later made his way back to television and was tapped by Rupert Murdoch in 1996 to become the founding CEO of Fox News.

by RTT Staff Writer

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