Former FOX News CEO Roger Ailes dead at 77

By Gibson Johns

May 18th, 2017 at 8:51AM

Former FOX News CEO Roger Ailes has died at the age of 77.

Ailes' wife, Elizabeth Ailes, revealed the shocking news in a statement on the Drudge Report on Thursday morning.

SEE ALSO: Gretchen Carlson reveals her daughter was bullied after her FOX News sexual harassment lawsuit

"I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning," she said in a statement. "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..."

Soon after Ailes' wife released her statement, TMZ reported that Ailes had suffered a fall at his Florida home eight days ago. A friend of the Ailes family seemed to confirm his fall, telling New York Magazine's Gabriel Sherman that "last week, Ailes had some kind of blood clot in Palm Beach [and] suffered complications." He allegedly fell into a coma on Wednesday night as a result of the blood clot from his fall, and he died early Thursday morning.

See photos of Roger Ailes:

Ailes resigned from his perch at FOX News last summer after multiple women came forward accusing him of sexual harassment, including on-air talents Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly. Carlson alleged that Ailes attempted to sabotage her career after she refused his sexual advances.

After Carlson left FOX News amid her allegations, 25 other women came forward with accusations of sexual harassment, which eventually led to Ailes leaving the network. He maintained that all of the women's claims were defamatory and false, and Carlson received a $20 million settlement.

Ailes is largely considered to be one of the most influential figures in the history of cable news. During his tenure as chairman and chief executive of the FOX News Channel, the controversial figure drove FOX News to become the No. 1 cable news channel in the country -- surpassing rivals like CNN and MSNBC in the process.

He is survived by his wife and their one son.

Shortly after news of Ailes' death broke, FOX News anchor Sean Hannity took to Twitter to pay his respects to the mogul, who he said was "like a second father" to him.

"Today America lose one of its great patriotic warriors," he said in a lengthy tweeting spree.

Here's how celebrities and FOX News personalities reacted to Roger Ailes' death:

More from AOL.com:
Fox News: Kimberly Guilfoyle is 'under a long-term contract'
Bill O'Reilly joins Glenn Beck's weekly radio show at TheBlaze
Stephen Colbert pleads with Trump: 'Please don't take Sean Spicer from us'

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Please enter a valid email
Thank you for subscribing!
Error

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Update privacy choices