The death was announced by his family and reported on Fox News Channel. 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."
Sean Hannity, a prime time host and longtime face of the network, said on Twitter: "Today America lost one of its great patriotic warriors."
Ailes started Fox News almost from scratch in 1996. With its slogan "Fair & Balanced," the network grew into not just the cable news ratings leader but a profound influence on the right wing of American politics.
Fox News promoted Republican candidates and causes and relentlessly attacked what it perceived to be liberal bias in the mainstream media and the entertainment industry.
Ailes was arguably the most powerful man in American media when he suddenly lost his job last summer. Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox anchor, sued him for sexual harassment, and other women came forward to support her claims. Carlson settled with 21st Century Fox, the network's parent company, for $20 million.
Roger Ailes was one of the chief architects of the rise of the current GOP, and of Trump. He has done incalculable damage to the country and the planet, and his passing is quite literally the least he could accomplish in the wake of his decades-long reign of presiding of his empire of cable news diarrhea.
I'm going to spend the rest of my life believing that his final words yesterday were something along the lines that a special counsel for Trump and Russia would only be appointed "over his dead body" and that his body dutifully complied.
Good job, Roger Ailes's body. Were that you could have only saved us earlier.