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Former Chairman and CEO of the Fox News Channel Roger Ailes Dead at 77

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(NEW YORK) -- Former Chairman and CEO of the Fox News Channel Roger Ailes has died. Ailes was 77.

ABC News obtained the following statement from Elizabeth Ailes:

"I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning surrounded by his beautiful family. Roger was my best friend, the most wonderful loving husband and father to our son Zachary, He was a loyal friend to so many. Roger was a patriot, grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise-and to give back. During a career that stretched over more than five decades, his work in entertainment, in politics, and in news affected the lives of many millions. And so even as we mourn his death, we celebrate his life."

The message continues, "at this time of sorrow and grief we ask you to respect our privacy."  

Fox Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch in a statement called Ailes "a brilliant broadcaster," saying he "played a huge role in shaping America’s media over the last thirty years. He will be remembered by the many people on both sides of the camera that he discovered, nurtured and promoted."

Last July, Ailes resigned from Fox News under pressure from Murdoch amid multiple sexual harassment allegations against him. In a letter to Rupert Murdoch obtained by ABC News at the time, Ailes emphasized that he was proud of his accomplishments and said that he was looking forward to working as an "adviser" with 21st Century Fox.

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