In a corporate plummet heard around the world, Fox News founder and former chairman, Roger Ailes, was forced to relinquish his position at the helm of the conservative network a year ago amid a sensational sexual harassment scandal.
A statement from his wife Elizabeth said she was "profoundly sad and heartbroken", calling him a "patriot".
"He wasn't flawless, but Roger Ailes was my friend & I loved him", the 41st president tweeted Thursday. "Roger was a patriot, grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise - and to give back".
He was undone last summer by a lawsuit in which former anchor Gretchen Carlson alleged sexual harassment, an action that prompted other women, including Megyn Kelly, the network's biggest female star at the time, to come forward with similar stories. At least 20 women have accused Ailes of sexual harassment.More news: Severe Storms Including Tornadoes Possible Thursday
Ailes, an OH native, began his television career in the early 1960s as a producer at The Mike Douglas Show in Cleveland, and went onto serve as media consultant for several Republican presidents, including Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
Update 4:45 p.m.: The Palm Beach County, Florida, Medical Examiner's Office ruled the death of Roger Ailes an accident, according to a news release issued Thursday afternoon. "You rest in peace Roger and I hope that you are at peace".
Ailes went from a 27-year-old TV producer to successfully selling Richard Nixon to the American people in 1968.
Other GOP lawmakers praised Ailes for his transformative impact on news and politics and providing a platform for conservatives.More news: GOP lawmaker demands inquiry of Turkish leader's bodyguards
"Today America lost one of its great patriotic warriors, Roger Ailes".
By 1992, Ailes had retired from politics and soured on the news media.
"He has dramatically and forever changed the political and the media landscape singlehandedly for the better", Hannity tweeted.
Roger Ailes, who died Thursday at the age of 77, left behind a legacy as a builder of a conservative media empire and a strategist for dozens of political campaigns. He was also reported to have advised President Donald Trump in the campaign a year ago.More news: Robert E. Lee monument in New Orleans could come down overnight
Share with Us - We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article, and smart, constructive criticism. Even Rev. Al Sharpton - who was in many ways the opposite of everything Ailes stood for - paid tribute to him and said, "his impact on U.S. culture is undeniable".
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