One of the founders of the FOX News Channel, Roger Ailes passed away this morning. He was 77 years of age.
“He was a patriot,” his wife Elizabeth stated in a statement provided to Drudge Report. Ailes exited Fox on July 21, 2016, after sexual harassment accusations from Gretchen Carlson and others put a dark cloud on his 20 years building the network.
“Roger was a loving husband to me, his son Zachary and a loyal friend to many,” Elizabeth Ailes said.
He was also “profoundly grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise and give back during a career that stretched more than five decades. His work in entertainment, politics and news effected the lives of many millions.”
Ailes, however, was also embroiled in a salacious and damning sexual harassment scandal that has plagued FOX News for nearly a year.
Troubles started after former FOX News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against Ailes, alleging sexual harassment in the workplace. Other women followed Carlson, going public against Ailes’ reportedly inappropriate behavior.
On July 21, 2016, Ailes left FOX News, effective immediately.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ailes exited with a $40 million severance payment, reflecting the remainder of his contract.
At the time of Ailes exit, 21st Century Fox Executive Co-Chairman Rupert Murdoch took over as acting Chairman and CEO of FOX News. He said of Ailes, “It is always difficult to create a channel or a publication from the ground up and against seemingly entrenched monopolies. To lead a flourishing news channel, and to build Fox Business, Roger has defied the odds.”