Fox's Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham mourn Ailes

Roger Ailes, who built Fox News into a cable powerhouse before leaving the company a year ago, died Thursday morning at age 77.

"I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning", she said. She described her husband as a "patriot", a "loving husband" and a "loyal friend".

Ailes died of complications from bleeding on the brain following a fall at home in which he hit his head, the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner said.

Few other details were immediately available, including whether the victim was taken to the hospital.

Fox News anchor Sean Hannity issued a touching statement after news broke of the death of former Fox News chair Roger Ailes.

"He will be remembered by the many people on both sides of the camera that he discovered, nurtured and promoted", Murdoch said. "Roger was a great patriot who never ceased fighting for his beliefs".

Mr Ailes served as a consultant to presidents from Mr Richard Nixon to Mr Ronald Reagan to Mr George H.W. Bush.

New York Magazine writer Gabriel Sherman, who covered Ailes extensively, said that in recent days the former television executive was staying apart from his wife in Garrison, New York.

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Ailes was famous for his shrewd leadership of Fox, including his focus on airing conservative opinions and hiring anchors and reporters with big personalities.

Ailes was forced out at Fox last July amid allegations of sexual harassment. When it comes down to it though, whether you like him or not, you have to admit that he was a very powerful political figure - perhaps not exactly what you want in a CEO of a TV news station though.

It's unclear what factors contributed to Ailes' death.

Through it all, Fox News has retained the identity Ailes forged for the network as a leading platform for conservative opinion and a counterweight to other news outlets that Fox hosts generally regard with disdain. Ailes advised Donald Trump during his presidential campaign, helping him to prepare for debates.

"In the years I worked with Ailes he was a great mentor, deeply patriotic, committed to Fox News and really anxious about America", Gingrich, a Republican, wrote on Twitter.

The Roger Ailes and Trump relationship was a mutually beneficial one.

By 1992, Ailes had retired from politics and soured on the news media.

Carlson's lawsuit opened the gates to a flood of allegations from women, including star host Megyn Kelly, who accused him of groping them or making unwanted advances - and sought to expose what they called a culture of misogyny at the network. More women came forward with their stories, which left Murdoch no choice but to fire Ailes during the scandal. "And may he rest in peace", the lawmaker told CNN's Chris Cuomo Thursday on "New Day".

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