"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.
Due to EU data protection laws, we (Oath), our vendors and our partners need your consent to set cookies on your device and collect data about how you use Oath products and services. Oath uses the data to better understand your interests, provide relevant experiences, and personalised advertisements on Oath products (and in some cases, partner products). Learn more about our data uses and your choices here.