Roger Ailes, Former Fox CEO and Chairman, Dead at 77

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Updated on May 18, 2017 at 11:30 ET.

Roger Ailes, former CEO and Chairman of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, died on Thursday morning. He was 77.

Ailes' wife, Elizabeth, confirmed her husband's death in a statement to Drudge Report. "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," her statement reads. "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..."

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New York Magazine's
 Gabriel Sherman tweeted on Thursday that he had spoken to a friend of the Ailes family, who told him that the former Fox CEO "had some kind of blood clot" last week while in Palm Beach, Florida, and "suffered complications." A second family friend also reportedly told Sherman that Ailes allegedly "fell in Palm Beach and had a blood clot from the fall. He suffered complications."

After news broke of Ailes' death, some people in the media world started tweeting their condolences, including Geraldo Rivera and Laura Ingraham.

In July 2016, Ailes resigned from Fox after he helped start the network 20 years prior. The news came less than a month after several women accused him of sexual harassment,
including former Fox News host, Gretchen Carlson.

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Following Ailes' resignation, Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox, released a statement praising him for the "remarkable" contributions to "our company and country."

"Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organization and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years," the July statement read. "Fox News has given voice to those who were ignored by the traditional networks and has been one of the great commercial success stories of modern media."

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"It is always difficult to create a channel or a publication from the ground up and against seemingly entrenched monopolies," Murdoch's statement continued. "To lead a flourishing news channel, and to build Fox Business, Roger has defied the odds. His grasp of policy and his ability to make profoundly important issues accessible to a broader audience stand in stark contrast to the self-serving elitism that characterizes far too much of the media."

Ailes is survived by his wife of 19 years, Elizabeth, and his son, Zachary.

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