Roger Ailes, the founder and former CEO of Fox News, died Thursday at age 77.

In life, Ailes was a controversial figure. He was beloved by many in the right-wing political sphere for bringing reactionary conservative thought to the mainstream, and he was also celebrated for his business acumen in turning Fox News into the top-rated cable news network. Meanwhile, most on the left reviled him for bringing reactionary conservative thought to the mainstream, his network's tenuous relationship with truth and for sexually harassing female employees for decades.

In July 2016, Ailes resigned his post as the CEO of Fox News after the harassment scandal spiraled beyond his control, and the public reactions to his death have been split along party lines.

Former President George H.W. Bush, for example, wrote that he owed a debt of gratitude to the former political consultant for helping to get him elected to the nation's highest office.

Fox News anchor Sean Hannity tweeted a multi-part tribute to the man he credits with making him who he is today, calling him a "true American original" and "one of [America's] great patriotic warriors."


Meanwhile, Gabriel Sherman, a journalist who has written extensively on Ailes and who recently sold a miniseries based on his reporting to Showtime called Secure and Hold: The Last Days of Roger Ailes, revealed that at least one of Ailes' sexual harassment victims believed his passing to be a form of "justice."

Right-wing radio host Alex Jones publicly credited Ailes for pioneering the ultra-conservative media space that allows people like him to thrive.

Many of the digital tributes to Ailes have been quite a bit sharper than such an occasion might usually call for.

Even the reactions have gotten reactions.

And, in turn, those hot takes have inspired responses.

In death, Roger Ailes has become a talking point for the kind of polarization and loathing he spent his career fomenting, a fitting legacy for one of the culture wars' biggest instigators.