Trump Aide and Fox Founder Roger Ailes Dies at 77

Ailes was ousted from Fox News following accusations of sexual harassment in July 2016. 

2 min read
Roger Ailes. (Photo: AP)

Founder and former CEO of Fox News Roger Ailes passed away on Thursday, according to a statement released by his wife Elizabeth Ailes. He was 77 years old. The cause of AIles’s death is yet unknown.

Ailes resigned from his post as CEO of Fox News in July 2016, following allegation of sexual harassment, marking the end of his 20-year-old stint at the helm of the organisation. He was paid $40 million by Fox News when he left the company.

Elizabeth’s statement read:

“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. He was also a patriot, profoundly grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise—and to give back... And so even as we mourn his death, we celebrate his life... “  

Ailes was embroiled into the sexual harassment controversy when former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson filed a suit against the media honcho, claiming that she was fired from her job after she rejected his advances. The suit saw several other women in the organisation stepping up to level accusations against Ailes around the same. Ultimately, the Murdochs decided to oust him from the organisation.

Following his expulsion from Fox News, Ailes immediately joined the Trump campaign, as an advisor for Trump’s Presidential debates. Ailes’s connection with politics has been through the Republican door, when he coached Richard Nixon into becoming a television-friendly candidate, softening his hard-liner image.

Ever since, Ailes stayed connected to the Republican Party, coaching Reagan in 1984 to face his Presidential debate. In 1988, Ailes was roped in for Bush’s image makeover, where he trained the former President to model himself on the lines of actor Gary Cooper.

Ailes has been credited with propping Trump as a potential Presidential candidate since 2011, through coverage on Fox News. Supposedly, Trump’s aides have also helped Ailes in targeting his enemies, according to a report in Politico.

However, reports suggest that Ailes’s relationship with Trump began to sour during the Presidential campaign. The two have been long-time friends, with Trump having spoken highly of Ailes in the past.

Ailes was accused of sexual harassment yet again on Sunday, when TV journalist Alisyn Camerota accused him of inappropriate behaviour.

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