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Roger Ailes, former Fox News chief, dies at 77

19 May 2017

Ailes died after a fall at his Palm Beach, Florida, home on May 10 caused bleeding on the brain, the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner's Office said.

Facing a lawsuit, Ailes resigned in July.

Anchors of the channel's morning show Fox & Friends were noticeably emotional in announcing Ailes' death.

"Apart from the presidents he served, he was arguably the single most important figure in the creation of modern conservatism", David Greenberg, a Rutgers University political scientist, wrote in an essay for Politico past year.

"Roger and I shared a big idea which he executed in a way no one else could have", Murdoch wrote of Ailes, who died Thursday morning at age 77.

"He wasn't flawless, but Roger Ailes was my friend & I loved him", the 41st president said in a tweet shortly after news broke Thursday about Ailes' death.

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The family statement called Ailes "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 fall that caused the injury had not been reported prior to Ailes' death and it was not immediately clear whether it had caused him to be hospitalized.

"Everybody at Fox News is shocked and grieved by the death of Roger Ailes", Murdoch said in a statement. "A brilliant broadcaster, Roger played a huge role in shaping America's media over the last 30 years". He will be remembered by the many people on both sides of the camera he discovered, nurtured and promoted.

"Roger Ailes has made a remarkable contribution to our company and our country". "Roger was a great patriot who never ceased fighting for his beliefs".

With high-tech production values and cheeky slogans like "Fair and Balanced" and "We Report, You Decide", Fox News quickly challenged what Ailes viewed as a liberal-leaning mainstream media.

Ailes is survived by Elizabeth Ailes and their 17-year-old son, Zachary.

"Today, America lost one of its great patriotic warriors", Fox News host Sean Hannity tweeted. Ailes denied the allegations, saying the reason her contract was not renewed was due to "disappointingly low ratings".

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Ailes, who was born in May of 1940, in Warren, Ohio, had suffered from hemophilia most of his life.

Let's start with the fact he came up as a TV producer, produced "The Mike Douglas Show", you know, a half century ago effectively and for a few years there and then joined up with Richard Nixon and helped propel him and become more of a media-savvy figure and campaigner. Gabriel Sherman, an Ailes biographer and editor of New York Magazine, tweeted that a family friend said Ailes battled complications after suffering "some kind of blood clot".

In 1984, he helped President Reagan recover from his disastrous opening debate with Democratic opponent Walter Mondale.

Democrats had an 82-seat House majority when Fox News was launched in October 1996.

Other GOP lawmakers praised Ailes for his transformative impact on news and politics and providing a platform for conservatives.

Ailes and Elizabeth were married in 1998.

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