Roger Ailes, who built Fox News into a cable powerhouse before leaving the company last year, died Thursday morning at the age of 77.
The Ohio-born television pioneer was a confidante of presidents and an acknowledged master of communications. He founded Fox News in 1996 and built it into the nation's long-running No. 1 cable news network Ailes resigned from Fox in July amid charges of sexual harassment.
According to Fox, his wife Elizabeth Ailes released the following statement:
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.
"The cause of death was not immediately released," Fox News reports.