Roger Ailes, who transformed cable news and then American politics by building the Fox News Channel into a ratings powerhouse, died Thursday. He was 77.
The death was announced by his family and reported on Fox News. There was no immediate information on a cause of death.
"I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning," his wife, Elizabeth, said in a statement. "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."
Rupert Murdoch, who hired Ailes to create Fox, said "everybody at Fox News is shocked and grieved by" Ailes' death.
"He will be remembered by the many people on both sides of the camera that he discovered, nurtured and promoted," Murdoch said. "Roger and I shared a big idea which he executed in a way no one else could have."