(WYTV/AP) – Roger Ailes, the former chairman and CEO of Fox News, has died, Fox news reports.
He was 77.
Ailes grew up in Warren, Ohio and graduated from Warren G. Harding High School in the mid-1950s.
Ailes was hired by Rupert Murdoch to create Fox News from scratch in 1996. He built a network that both transformed the news business and changed the political conversation, building a force in Republican politics.
Ailes’ slogans, “fair and balanced” and “we report, you decide,” appealed to an audience that believed mainstream outlets didn’t live up to those promises.
He directed news coverage and emphasized issues like the so-called “war on Christmas” or the Benghazi investigation that otherwise got little attention. Republican politicians considered Fox the first stop for reaching their intended audience, and they learned to talk tough. “We’re not going to be defensive about anything,” Ailes said at the network’s launch.
His career was not without controversy, however.
Ailes’ downfall began with the July 6 filing of a lawsuit by Gretchen Carlson, who charged that Ailes sabotaged her career because she refused his suggestions for sex and had complained about a pervasive atmosphere of sexual harassment at Fox. Ailes has denied the charges, but within two weeks of the court filing, Carlson’s lawyers said more than 20 women had contacted the firm with stories of alleged harassment by Ailes either against themselves or someone they knew.
The lawsuit was reportedly settled for $20 million.
He resigned from Fox News last year amid those allegations.
This is a developing story. Check back here for updates.