Roger Ailes, the man who transformed television news and American politics in his role as founder of Fox News before being brought down by a sexual harassment scandal, died Thursday morning at age 77, the network announced.

Ailes resigned as chairman and CEO of Fox News last July — following days of speculation after a sexual harassment lawsuit was filed against him by a former anchor, 21st Century Fox said.

Ailes also had to resign from Fox Business Network and Fox Television Stations after spending two decades building the cable empire.

"Roger Ailes has made a remarkable contribution to our company and our country," 21st Century Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch said at the time. "Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organization and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years."

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