Roger Ailes, the bombastic and controversial founder and CEO of Fox News who was ousted last year in a sexual harassment scandal, has died, Fox News reported Thursday.

Ailes, who reshaped television news over five decades in the TV and entertainment industry, was 77.

HIs death was announced in a statement by his wife, Elizabeth Ailes, according to Fox News.

"I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger ailes, passed away this morning," she said.

She called him "a loving husband" and "patriot."

The cause of death was not immediately clear.

While Fox News on Twitter was quick to issue a report of Ailes' death, the Fox News cable channel was slower to broadcast the surprising news.

At 9 a.m., at least a half hour after the news broke on most outlets, Fox anchor Bill Hemmer, looking shaken, reported Ailes death to his audience, ending his brief report by saying, softly, "Wow!"

Ailes resigned July 21 following a storm over a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson. The suit triggered similar claims from other women and an in-house investigation at Fox.

Ailes strongly denied the claim, but stepped down.