Ailes died at 77, his wife said in a statement Thursday morning. "And you know, he went out in such a sad way". The Palm Beach County coroner could not be reached when called by PEOPLE.
Ailes was a highly successful local TV producer before serving as an adviser to both Nixon and Reagan in the White House.
The real driver that created Trump the politician was the network's decades-long campaign to discredit the "biased liberal media" and its constant handwringing over "political correctness".
He was abruptly dismissed from Fox News in July 2016 in the wake of a lawsuit filed by former anchor Gretchen Carlson accusing Ailes of sexual improprieties.
GUTHRIE: And that's something Stephanie Gosk, who joins us now, has been covering extensively.
STEPHANIE GOSK: No we hadn't.
"Trump is kind of the logical conclusion of a long-term trend of entertainment-izing of American politics". Yet for all the praise, Ailes also leaves a legacy of deep divisions that critics say will plague the Republican Party - and American politics - for years to come. He looked to be somewhat overweight.
"The sudden passing of Roger Ailes will make it hard for Fox News to refute the allegations against him as his testimony was not secured by sworn testimony to date", said attorney Douglas Wigdor, who represents Wright and other plaintiffs with pending actions, including Fox Radio personality Jessica Golloher.
"In the years I worked with Ailes he was a great mentor, deeply patriotic, committed to Fox News and really anxious about America", Gingrich, a Republican, wrote on Twitter.
It indicates Ailes "fell and hit his head" at ground level and that he was conscious and breathing. He also had multiple surgeries and joint replacements.
His crowning achievement at Fox News, however, was sullied in his final months by the charges of sexual misconduct. So he has been in sort of serious health decline for years now.
LAUER: Gabe, try to put in perspective for us, if you can, Roger Ailes and his early career at Fox and then Roger Ailes and his departure from Fox. "He suffered complications", Sherman wrote. "The actuaries say I have six to eight years". On the one hand, he is a revolutionary. "He has dramatically and forever changed the political and the media landscape, single-handedly for the better".
Fox News is owned by Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.