Facts about Roger Ailes
Roger Ailes Biography
Roger Miles was the founder and chairman of Fox News from 1996 to 2016, when he was forced out due to allegations of being a sexual predator.
A 1962 graduate of Ohio University, Roger Ailes began his career as a producer of Cleveland’s The Mike Douglas Show, a daytime talk show. Ailes left the show in 1968 to go into political consulting.
As a media consultant, Roger Ailes worked on several campaigns, including those of Republicans Mitch McConnell and Phil Gramm. He worked on the presidential campaigns of Richard Nixon (1968), Ronald Reagan (1984) and George H.W. Bush (1988), becoming known for his willingness to use half-truths and emotional attack ads to win elections.
In the 1990s, Ailes returned to television with NBC and took over running CNBC, making it profitable. He left NBC in 1993 and called right-wing media mogul Rupert Murdoch; with Murdoch’s financial backing, Ailes started Fox News in 1996 with no news gathering network and no distribution network. It worked.
The network’s focus on combative opinions and trumped-up outrage eventually made it a top-rated cable channel. Roger Ailes steered the organization for 20 years with a take-no-prisoners attitude and an eager willingness to put ratings and profits ahead of facts and the public good.
In 2016, anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit agains Roger Ailes, charging him with sexual harassment. More accusations from former employees followed, including from anchor Megyn Kelly, who said Ailes had made “unwanted sexual advances” toward her. Ailes denied the charges but was forced to resign (with a $40 million payout) in 2016. He advised Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in his campaign that fall, and died after hitting his head in a fall the next year.
Roger Ailes suffered from hemophilia, which contributed to his death after he hit his head during a fall in 2017… Roger Ailes was married three times: to Marjorie White (from 1960 until their divorce in 1977); to Norma Ferrer (from 1981 until their divorce in 1995); and to Elizabeth Tilson (from 1998 until his death).