His wife Elizabeth Ailes provided a statement to the Drudge Report confirming his passing Thursday morning.
"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. 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... "
His death was also confirmed by Fox News.
Breaking News: Former Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes has died, his family announced. pic.twitter.com/AksPdNSZaI— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 18, 2017
Ailes reportedly died from complications from a blood clot after falling at his Palm Beach, Florida home. Ailes suffered from hemophilia.
In a statement, Fox News personality Sean Hannity eulogized Ailes, writing "few people in this life will ever reach the profound level of impact that Roger Ailes had on the country every single day. As his opponents played checkers in life, Roger was always the strategist, playing Chess 5 steps ahead at a whole other level."
Ailes launched Fox News in 1996, and under his leadership it quickly became an influential political force thanks to its large audience and aggressive conservative viewpoint. Under Ailes, the network made stars out of Bill O'Reilly, Megyn Kelly and Hannity, among others, though the former two left the network this year — Kelly for an even bigger platform on NBC and O'Reilly in a sexual harassment scandal of his own.
In 2005, Ailes became the chairman of the Fox Television Stations Group. In 2016, he resigned from Fox News amidst allegations that he sexually harassed numerous female Fox News employees, including Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson, and had been doing so for decades. After leaving Fox News, he worked as a consultant on Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
Ailes was born and raised in Warren, OH. He began his TV career as a producer at WKYC in Cleveland. For the 1968 presidential campaign, Richard Nixon recruited him as his executive producer for television, making the stiff candidate more camera-ready. He continued to work as a political consultant to Republican candidates including Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
He is survived by his wife Elizabeth. He has one son from a previous marriage.