Roger Ailes died on May 18, 2017, eight days after he fell and hit his head in the bathroom of his home in Palm Beach, Florida. Ailes died three days after his 77th birthday.
According to the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner, Ailes’ death was due to a subdural hematoma which had been aggravated by Ailes’ hemophilia. A police report from the time of Ailes’ fall saw first-responders saying Ailes had suffered “serious bleeding.” The fall was also deemed to have been accidental.
Ailes Suffered from Hemophilia & Arthritis
Hemophilia is a typically inherited bleeding disorder where a persons blood does not clot properly. The Centers for Disease Control says, “This can lead to spontaneous bleeding as well as bleeding following injuries or surgery.”
A subdural hematoma is when the brain suffers a traumatic injury in which blood gathers in different areas of the brain and results in tears in veins. In addition to his hemophilia, Ailes had suffered from arthritis.
In Announcing His Death, Elizabeth Ailes Referred to Her Husband as ‘Loving’ & a ‘Patriot’
The New York Daily News reported that at the time of his death, Ailes had been living apart from his with, Elizabeth Ailes. It was Elizabeth who first announced her husband’s passing in a statement to the Drudge Report. The statement simply read, “I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning. Roger was a loving husband to me, to his son Zachary, and a loyal friend to many” It added that Ailes was a “patriot.”
Upon hearing of Ailes’ death, Fox News founder and owner Rupert Murdoch said, “He will be remembered by the many people on both sides of the camera that he discovered, nurtured and promoted.” Former President George H.W. Bush said of Ailes, “He wasn’t perfect, but Roger Ailes was my friend & I loved him. Not sure I would have been President w/o his great talent, loyal help. RIP.”
Ailes Said in the Past He Had Been ‘Prepared for Death’ for His Whole Life
Ailes was quoted as saying in the 2013 book, “Roger Ailes: Off Camera,” via Vanity Fair, “Because of my hemophilia, I’ve been prepared to face death all of my life. When it comes, I’ll miss life, though. Especially my family.”
In January 2014, the New Yorker’s Jill Lepore wrote that despite Ailes being born with hemophilia it “didn’t stop his father from beating him with an electrical cord.” Ailes said in the book, “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” that his hemophilia “caused blood to pool in his knees, hips, and ankles.” The book also saw Ailes say that his parents had felt their son was living on borrowed time.
While a 2011 Rolling Stone feature saw Ailes described as a “sickly child” who grew up watching TV and sitting out recess.