Former Fox News chief Roger Ailes dead, 77

(WPRI/CNN) — Former Fox News Channel chief executive Roger Ailes has died, according to multiple media reports. He was 77.

Ailes started the cable news network almost from scratch in 1996. Under his supervision, it became not just a cable news ratings leader but a profound influence on the right wing of American politics.

In a statement, Ailes’s wife, Elizabeth, said she was “profoundly sad and heartbroken… 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.”

Ailes was one of, if not the most, most powerful men in Western media when he suddenly lost his job last summer — ousted following sexual harassment allegations from former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson. Though he denied the claims, Ailes resigned July 21 after other women came forward to support Carlson’s allegations.