Former Fox chief executive Roger Ailes has passed at the age of 77. Ailes who brought Fox News to the pinnacle of cable TV news, was outsted amid a sexual harassment scandal back in 2016. Ailes was a prominent Republican media consultant who later ran CNBC before Murdoch asked him to create a cable news network to compete with CNN at the same time MSNBC was starting. Ailes’ downfall began back in July of 2016 when Gretchen Carlson a commentator on the Fox News show began a lawsuit against Ailes. Carlson blamed Ailes for sabotaging her career because she refused his advanced and had complained about a pervasive atmosphere of sexual harassment at Fox.
Ailes denied that he had ever come onto Carlso but an investigation was set in motion. Eventually Carlson’s lawyers said that almost 20 women had contacted the firm with their own stories of sexual harassment by Ailes. Ailes eventually resigned from Fox.
Ailes’ wife said in a statement about her late husband: “I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning surrounded by his beautiful family. Roger was my best friend, the most wonderful loving husband and father to our son Zachary, He was a loyal friend to so many. 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. 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.”
No cause of death was given but Ailes was a hemophiliac long plagued by obesity and arthritis.
In another statement by Douglas H. Wigdor, an attorney for multiple plaintiffs wrote that, “The sudden passing of Roger Ailes will make it difficult for Fox News to refute the allegations against him as his testimony was not secured by sworn testimony to date.”