"RIP Roger Ailes a good friend, great American and communications genius @StoneColdTruth", author and political adviser Roger Stone. "And so even as we mourn his death, we celebrate his life", the statement concluded.
Ailes was famous for his shrewd leadership of Fox, including his focus on airing conservative opinions and hiring anchors and reporters with big personalities. NPR also confirmed the death shortly after the initial Drudge report.
Ailes stepped down from his Fox post in July 2016 following sexual harassment charges, claims which he denied.
Ailes' first venture into the Republican political world involved working with then-presidential candidate Richard Nixon as a campaign staffer tasked with polishing Nixon's image and prepping the candidate for TV interviews, which resulted in him eventually getting elected. "He has dramatically and forever changed the political and the media landscape singlehandedly for the better".
Palm Beach police officials said this morning that Ailes didn't die in Palm Beach, though Palm Beach Fire-Rescue crews were summoned to his home last week, according to a dispatch report.
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"I only understand friendship or scorched earth", Ailes once said.
Before Fox News, Ailes was one of the GOP's most powerful operatives, advising candidates including Nixon and Reagan.
His ouster set off a chain of events that led to the departure of Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly earlier this year under similar circumstances, forcing Fox to bring in an independent law firm to investigate harassment at the network. His bluntness and hatred of "liberal media elites" made him the ideal choice to forge ahead with this project, which at the time was not a guaranteed success.
Gabriel Sherman, who wrote a biography on Ailes entitled The Loudest Voice in the Room, called his "last chapter" a tragic story, "whatever you think of Roger Ailes". 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.
Andrea Tantaros, a former Fox News host, files a lawsuit alleging that she was sexually harassed by Ailes and O'Reilly. The government is looking into whether Fox News failed to inform shareholders about settlements made with employees who accused Ailes of sexual harassment.
In two decades of leadership at Fox News, Ailes built the cable news channel into the popular and polarizing media behemoth it is today.