Fox News co-founder and former CEO Roger Ailes has died at the age of 77, his family has announced.
Ailes founded Fox News for Rupert Murdoch in 1996, calling it a “fair and balanced” alternative to his competitors.
He remained with the channel for the next twenty years and masterminded its growth to its current ratings success.
Ailes abruptly resigned from his positions as chairman and CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network in July last year.
His resignation came after former Fox News presenter Gretchen Carlson sued him for sexual harassment.
Several more women came forward with similar accusations, all of which Ailes denied.
Before launching Fox News Ailes was a Republican political operative and served as an aide to President Nixon.
He also served as a media consultant to President Reagan and President George H. W. Bush.
Following his departure from Fox last year he reportedly assisted the Donald Trump campaign with debate preparation.
In a statement, published by the Drudge Report, his wife Elizabeth said: “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.”
Following the news of his death Fox News host Sean Hannity paid tribute to his former boss, saying that Ailes had been like a “second father” to him.
“Today America lost one of its great patriotic warriors” he said.
“He has dramatically and forever changed the political and the media landscape single-handedly for the better.”