One of the Most Influential Men in America Dies at 77

May 18, 2017May 18, 2017

One of the most influential men in America, widely regarded as a pioneer in his field, has died at the age of 77.

According to Fox News, their founder Roger Ailes, died Thursday. The cause of death has not been released.

His widow Elizabeth wrote, "I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning."

She added, "Roger was a loving husband to me, to his son Zachary, and a loyal friend to many. He was also a patriot, profoundly grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise — and to give back."

Ailes was a true pioneer in his field, founding what would become the top cable news network in the nation and an alternative to the left-leaning mainstream media. After starting the company in 1996, he didn’t step down until last year.

Fox News executive chairman Rupert Murdoch said, "Everybody at Fox News is shocked and grieved by the death of Roger Ailes. A brilliant broadcaster, Roger played a huge role in shaping America's media over the last 30 years. He will be remembered by the many people on both sides of the camera he discovered, nurtured and promoted."

“Roger was a great patriot who never ceased fighting for his beliefs,” he added.

Ailes was a key player in both President Ronald Reagan’s and President George H.W. Bush’ campaigns. After leaving Fox News, he reportedly helped Trump prepare for his debates as well.