Roger Ailes, Former Fox News Powerhouse, Dies at 77.
A media giant has left the building.
Despite any personal feelings one might hold regarding the man, his accomplishments cannot be denied.
Ailes was hired by Rupert Murdoch in 1996 as Fox News founding CEO. Under his watchful eye, the news network was built into not only a cable news ratings leader but a powerful platform for right wing American politics. In 2005, he became the Chairman of the Fox Television Stations Group.
Ailes was easily the most powerful man in media when he resigned last summer after a firestorm of scandals.
Destined for media spotlight.
Ailes was born and raised in Warren, Ohio. He suffered from hemophilia and was often hospitalized during his childhood. Ailes attended Ohio University where he majored in radio and television. He served as the student station manager for two years before graduating in 1962.
His career in television was launched in 1962 when he began serving as Property Assistant for the talk-variety show, The Mike Douglas Show. At the time, the show was only locally produced. In 1965 he began serving as a Producer. Two years later be was promoted to Executive Producer. He continued in that capacity even after the show went national and eventually won a daytime Emmy.
Ailes was later called on by President Nixon to serve as his Executive Producer for television. Nixon’s successful presidential bid was Ailes’s first venture into the political spotlight.
Shrewd political consultant.
In 1984, Ailes worked on President Ronald Reagan’s reelection campaign. From 1987 to 1988, Ailes was part of a two man team (the other being Lee Atwater) credited with guiding George H. W. Bush to victory with his presidential bid.
Ailes’s last campaign was the unsuccessful bid of Richard Thornburgh for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania in November 1991. He announced his withdrawal from political consulting a year later, though he aided with speech writing and coaching in 1992 for both President and Barbara Bush.
Despite his resignation last summer, Ailes was still a powerful ally of the Republican Party though now one who operated outside the spotlight. He is considered instrumental in the successful campaign of now President Donald Trump, whose victory took many by surprise.
Ailes is survived by his wife and son. There is no word at this time on cause of death.