Last Updated May 18, 2017 9:50 AM EDT
Former Fox News chief executive Roger Ailes has died, his wife said in a statement Thursday morning.
"I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning," Elizabeth Ailes said. "Roger was a loving husband to me, to his son Zachary, and a loyal friend to many."
Ailes was 77. Fox News confirmed Ailes' death Thursday morning.
Ailes wasfrom Fox News in July 2016 in the wake of sexual harassment allegations leveled by former employees.The founder of Fox News and longtime Republican political operative had a profound influence on American life, building Fox News into a powerhouse that transformed the media landscape and conservative politics.
For decades, Ailes worked as a media consultant for Republican politicians, serving as an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He was close with President Trump, helping Mr. Trumpduring the 2016 campaign after his ouster from Fox News.
Ailes founded Fox News with media titan Rupert Murdoch in 1996, building the network into the highest-rated cable news channel on television. Over two decades, Ailes turned Fox into an, making billions in profits for its parent company.
Ailes denied the sexual harassment allegations but was forced to resign in the wake of the lawsuits. Carlson Gretchen Carlson and alleged Ailes created a toxic culture at the network where sexual harassment was permitted. Carlson said she was fired for refusing Ailes' sexual advancements, and Tantaros alleged Fox News was "steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny."with parent company 21st Century Fox in September 2016. The company apologized to Carlson, saying she "was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve."His resignation in 2016 was a shocking fall from grace. Lawsuits filed by former hosts
At least six other women haveagainst Ailes and top Fox News executives. Longtime host Bill O'Reilly, who was one of Ailes' earliest hires at the network, was after settlements totaling millions of dollars came to light in April.