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Celebs, news media respond to Roger Ailes' death

The controversial Fox News co-founder is being both praised and excoriated on social media

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Fox News co-founder and former CEO Roger Ailes died Thursday at the age of 77.

Following his wife Elizabeth’s announcement of his death, celebrities and members of the news media began sharing their reactions to the news on Twitter.

Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Geraldo Rivera, and Brit Hume were among those paying homage to Ailes and his contribution to media, while former President George H.W. Bush credited Ailes with helping him win the White House and acknowledged his friend “wasn’t perfect.”

In a statement provided to Entertainment Weekly via Fox, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox and Fox News Rupert Murdoch said, “Everybody at Fox News is shocked and grieved by the death of Roger Ailes. A brilliant broadcaster, Roger played a huge role in shaping America’s media over the last thirty years. He will be remembered by the many people on both sides of the camera that he discovered, nurtured and promoted. Roger and I shared a big idea which he executed in a way no one else could have. In addition, Roger was a great patriot who never ceased fighting for his beliefs. At 21st Century Fox we will always be enormously grateful for the great business he built. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Elizabeth and son Zachary.”

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In a lengthy series of tweets, Hannity wrote, “Today America lost one of its great patriotic warriors. Roger Ailes. For Decades RA’s has impacted American politics and media. He has dramatically and forever changed the political and the media landscape singlehandedly for the better. Neither will ever be the same again as he was a true American original. Few people in this life will ever reach the profound level of impact that Roger Ailes had on the country every single day. As his opponents played checkers in life, Roger was always the strategist, playing Chess, 5 steps ahead at a whole other level.” The tweets continued on — you can read them here.

Others, however, recognized some of the controversy surrounding Ailes. Last July, he stepped down as the CEO of the network after former anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him. This was followed by similar claims from six other female employees, with Megyn Kelly also detailing Ailes’ alleged harassment in her memoir late last year — all of which Ailes denied. Nonetheless, Fox News started an in-house investigation.

Read the tributes and other reactions to Ailes’ death below: