Roger Eugene Ailes (born May 15, 1940) is president of Fox News Channel and chairman of the Fox Television Stations Group. Mr. Ailes was a media consultant for Republican presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush, as well as Rudy Giuliani’s first mayoral campaign in 1989.
Ailes was born and grew up in the factory town of Warren, Ohio, the son of Donna Marie (née Cunningham) and Robert Eugene Ailes, a factory maintenance foreman. Ailes suffers from hemophilia and was often hospitalized as a youth. Ailes attended the Warren City Schools. Later, he was inducted into the Warren High Schools' Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame. Ailes graduated in 1962 from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, receiving a BA.
Ailes' career in television began in Cleveland and Philadelphia, where he started as property assistant (1962) producer(1965) and executive producer(1967–1968) for KYW-TV, for a then-locally produced talk-variety show, The Mike Douglas Show. He later became executive producer for the show, which was syndicated nationally. He was nominated for, but failed to win a Daytime Emmy Awards for it in 1968. It was in this position, in 1967, that he had a spirited discussion about television in politics with one of the show's guests, Richard Nixon, who took the view that television was a gimmick. Later, Nixon called on Ailes to serve as his executive producer of TV. Nixon's election victory was only Ailes's first venture into the political spotlight. His pioneering work in framing national campaign issues and making the stiff Nixon more likeable and accessible to voters was chronicled in The Selling of the President 1968 by Joe McGinniss.