Ailes resigned from his post at Fox News last July after former Fox and Friends and The Real Story anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against her ex-boss. 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.
The media mogul also served as an adviser to Republican presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan and, after his exit from Fox News, the election campaign of presidential candidate Donald Trump. Ailes denied the allegations.
"Ailes, apart from a few presidents and maybe a scattered number of other people, was one of the most important figures in American political history in the last half century", says David Greenberg, professor of history, journalism and media studies at Rutgers University.
"The power of Fox News can not be overstated in Republican politics", said GOP strategist Alex Conant, who advised two presidential campaigns. Owner Rupert Murdoch took over as chairman and interim CEO.
New York Magazine writer Gabriel Sherman, who covered Ailes extensively, said that in recent days the former television executive was staying apart from his wife in Garrison, New York.
Donald Trump signs $110bn arms deal hours after landing in Saudi Arabia
The Washington Post said the probe had reached into the White House to include a Trump adviser, who was not named. Trump's welcome in the region was put on display during a series of individual meetings with Arab leaders.
Our thoughts and prayers now turn to him, his Wife Beth, his son Zachary, his brother and his family.
"Ailes was a brilliant TV executive who saw an opportunity two decades ago to build a conservative news source and seized it, and then with his singular and rigid focus he succeeded beyond even his wildest dreams". "He has dramatically and forever changed the political and the media landscape, single-handedly for the better".
Meanwhile, Fox journalists and hosts paid tribute to the man who turned the once-tiny network into a media powerhouse.
Ailes was a producer of the variety and talk program The Mike Douglas Show when hemet Nixon.
Ailes died after a fall at his Palm Beach, Florida, home on May 10 caused bleeding on the brain, the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner's Office said.
"The history of cable television will have a very big chapter on Roger Ailes".
The financial fallout from the sexual harassment claims and lawsuits, meanwhile, has continued to pile up at Fox News Channel.