Former Fox News Head Roger Ailes Dead at Age 77< < Back to
NEW YORK (AP) – Roger Ailes, the communications maestro who transformed television news and America’s political conversation by creating and ruling Fox News Channel for two decades before being ousted last year for alleged sexual harassment, died Thursday, according to his wife, Elizabeth Ailes. He was 77.
A former GOP operative to candidates including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and a one-time adviser to President Donald Trump, Ailes’ TV network changed the face of 24-hour news. In early 1996, he accepted a challenge from media titan Rupert Murdoch to build a news network from scratch to compete with CNN and other TV outlets they deemed left-leaning.
But in little more than two weeks, both his legacy and job unraveled following allegations by former anchor Gretchen Carlson that he had forced her out of Fox News after she spurned his sexual advances. The lawsuit quickly triggered accounts from more than 20 women with similar stories.
The scandal led to the former Ohio University President Roderick McDavis returning a $500,000 donation Ailes made to his alma mater. Alies’ name was removed from the wall outside of the WOUB Newsroom in September.