Fox News founder Roger Ailes died as result of fall at home

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NEW YORK (Associated Press) Authorities in Florida sayt Roger Ailes died of bleeding on the brain caused by an earlier fall at home.

Roger Ailes. (CNN VAN photo)

The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner's Office says the Fox News Channel founder died of a subdural hematoma, or bleeding on the brain, caused by the fall.

The death has been ruled accidental and there was no evidence of foul play.

According to a Palm Beach police report, a caller contacted 911 dispatchers just before 2 p.m. on May 10, saying Ailes had fallen in his bathroom, hit his head and had serious bleeding.

The caller said Ailes was not responding appropriately to questions and was still on the ground.

Paramedics arrived within a minute and he was taken to a hospital.

Ailes’ wife announced her husband’s death 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 executive chairman Rupert Murdoch issued a statement saying he was "shocked and grieved" by his passing.

"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 that he discovered, nurtured and promoted," the statement read.

"Roger and I shared a big idea which he executed in a way no one else could have. In addition, Roger was a great patriot who never ceased fighting for his beliefs."

A former GOP operative to candidates including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Ailes later turned his media savvy to running TV networks.

In early 1996 he accepted a challenge from media titan Rupert Murdoch to build a news network from scratch to compete with CNN.

That October, Ailes flipped the switch on Fox News Channel.

It became the audience leader in cable news.

It also emerged as a powerful force on the political scene, while the feisty, hard-charging Ailes swatted off criticism that the network he branded as "Fair and Balanced" had a conservative tilt.

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.