George HW Bush weighs in on Ailes' death

In the wake of the Fox News Channel founder's death Thursday at 77, leaders in both parties said his TV network's influence in shaping American politics can not be overstated.

The network he helped found in 1996 cited a statement released by his family confirming the late media mogul's death.

Ailes' wife said in a statement she's "profoundly sad and heartbroken at her husband's passing".

Judith and I extend our condolences, love and prayers to Beth, Zachary and all of Roger's family, including his Fox family. Multiple women came forward past year to report sexual harassment accusations, including prominent host at the time, Megyn Kelly.

Under Ailes' leadership, Fox became America's most widely watched cable news channel, home to key conservative political commentators and drawing an audience distinct from rivals CNN and MSNBC.

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.

"He will be remembered by many people on both sides of the camera that he discovered, nurtured, and promoted", Murdoch said.

In recent years, he began an informal adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump, even sitting in on debate prep for the candidate during his 2016 campaign. Ailes denied the allegations, saying the reason her contract was not renewed was due to "disappointingly low ratings".

Ailes went into politics when he started to advise President Richard Nixon on how to connect with television viewers.

Roger Ailes was the former CEO of Fox News and was responsible for making the conservative news empire the powerhouse that it is today.

Roger Ailes, the architect of the Fox News Channel, died Thursday.

Ailes is survived by his wife Elizabeth and son Zachary.

Yet last summer he left amid huge controversy, earning tens of millions of dollars in a payout after allegations of sexual harassment were launched against him by former employees.

"He has dramatically and forever changed the political and the media landscape singlehandedly for the better", Hannity tweeted. "Roger and I shared a big idea which he executed in a way no one else could have", Murdoch said.

Bill Shine, co-president of Fox News who had been at the channel since its inception, also left earlier this month.

Earhardt, a Spring Valley High and University of SC graduate, appeared near tears as she and fellow "Fox & Friends" anchors shared the news, according to multiple media reports. "In addition, Roger was a great patriot who never ceased fighting for his beliefs". Roger Ailes' age was 77 at the time of his death.

Mrs Ailes' statement said: "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".

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