Roger Ailes, the former CEO of Fox News, has died at the age of 77.
No official cause of death has yet been released, although TMZ is reporting that he died after falling in his Florida home. But it had also previously been known that Ailes suffers from hemophilia, a genetic disorder which causes the body’s blood to not clot properly.
Ailes had also been open about his own mortality, in 2013 saying he only had a few more years to live.
Here’s what you need to know about Roger Ailes’ health leading up to his death, specifically his hemophilia.
1. He Was Diagnosed With Hemophilia When He Was Two Years Old
Roger Ailes was diagnosed with hemophilia at a young age.
According to the book The Loudest Voice in the Room, when Ailes was two years old, he fell and bit his tongue. He then began bleeding profusely and was rushed to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with hemophilia
As a result of this disorder, Ailes spent a lot of time as a kid in hospitals, winding up there for very minor incidents like falling onto a curb.
“My parents had to leave at the end of visiting hours, and I spent a lot of time just lying there in the dark, thinking about the fact that any accident could be dangerous or even fatal,” Ailes said in 2013, according to Vanity Fair.
2. When He Was Diagnosed, The Life Expectancy of a Person Who Suffered From Severe Hemophilia Was 11 Years
Back when Roger Ailes was diagnosed, his family did not think he would live for very long.
After all, at the time, the life expectancy of a person who suffered from severe hemophilia was 11 years.
When asked for the book The Loudest Voice in the Room what you did if you had hemophilia back then, Ailes simply said, “Well, you died. That’s what you knew about it. I was told many times I wasn’t going to make it.
Ailes’ parents did their best over the next few years to protect him, including keeping him away from uneven sidewalks that might cause him to trip.
3. He Had to Receive a Blood Transfusion as a Kid
One traumatizing incident for Roger Ailes growing up came when he was in grade school. According to the book The Loudest Voice in the Room, Ailes jumped off the roof of his parents’ house and bit his tongue, which caused him to bleed uncontrollably.
Ailes was taken to a hospital, and the doctors said there was nothing they could do.
“I heard the doctors say – I wasn’t sure what it meant, but I heard him say, ‘We really can’t do anything,'” Ailes said.
However, Ailes’ father would not give up, speeding down the highway to bring his son to another hospital.
Roger Ailes eventually received a blood transfusion, with the blood being donated by his father’s work friends. Ailes was suspended upside down for hours in order to prevent the blood from pooling.
4. As an Adult, He Would Sometimes Sit Through Meetings in Pain
Ailes’ hemophilia continued to affect him as an adult working as the CEO of Fox News.
According to the book The Loudest Voice in the Room, over time, the condition caused blood to pool in his knees, hips, and ankles, and the swelling ravaged his joints.
However, Ailes generally attempted to work through any issues like this, and in fact, Ailes seemed to take this as a badge of honor.
“The difference between pros and amateurs is that amateurs play hurt,” Ailes once said, according to The Loudest Voice in the Room.
5. He Said in 2013 That He’d Be Dead in 6-10 Years
Roger Ailes was very much aware of the fact that he did not have much longer left on Earth.
In a Vanity Fair profile from 2013, Roger Ailes said that he thinks he will die within 6 to 10 years.
“My doctor told me that I’m old, fat, and ugly, but none of those things is going to kill me immediately,” Ailes told Vanity Fair. “The actuaries say I have six to eight years. The best tables give me 10. Three thousand days, more or less.”
When asked if he fears death, Ailes said that he does not because he’s been ready for it his whole life.
“Because of my hemophilia, I’ve been prepared to face death all of my life,” he said. “…So I’m ready. Everybody fears the unknown. But I have a strong feeling there’s something bigger than us. I don’t think all this exists because some rocks happened to collide. I’m at peace. When it comes, I’ll be fine, calm. I’ll miss life, though. Especially my family.”
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