2017-05-23 / General Stories

Family & Close Friends Gather in Florida for Funeral of Roger Ailes

By Douglas Cunningham


Roger Ailes was mourned during a funeral service Saturday in Palm Beach attended by 65 close friends and family. His wife Elizabeth and son Zachary are at the center rear of the photo. 
Photo Provided Roger Ailes was mourned during a funeral service Saturday in Palm Beach attended by 65 close friends and family. His wife Elizabeth and son Zachary are at the center rear of the photo. Photo Provided Roger Ailes, the former CEO of Fox News and a giant in media and politics, was mourned Saturday morning during a service at St. Edward Church in Palm Beach.

Sixty-five invited guests attended the 11 am funeral at St. Edward, a Roman Catholic church on North County Road known for its glorious stained glass windows depicting the life of the Blessed Mother and its hand-painted ceiling and frescoes. His wife, Elizabeth, and son, Zachary, were present when Mr. Ailes died Thursday morning in Palm Beach. Mr. Ailes had suffered complications from a fall several days earlier.

Guests on Saturday included, among others, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Kathryn and Rush Limbaugh, Ethel Kennedy, and Molly and Douglas Kennedy. Also attending: Elizabeth and James Pinkerton, Mr. Ailes’ dearest friend and biographer, Woody Fraser, who was instrumental in the early days of the Mike Douglas Show in the 1960s, where Mr. Ailes started as production assistant but rose to become executive producer at age 28. James Kallstrom attended; he was former assistant director of the FBI and is now chairman of the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. Mr. Ailes was a strong supporter of MC-LEF, and in 2005 received its Semper Fidelis Award. The group is dedicated to providing an education for the children of fallen U.S. Marines and federal law enforcement officers.

Elizabeth and Dennis Kucinich, the former Congressman and twice a presidential candidate, also attended the service. They had visited Philipstown several times, staying at the Ailes’ guest house, and were close friends of both Mr. and Mrs. Ailes.

After the funeral Saturday, Mrs. Ailes and Zachary and the other mourners gathered for a luncheon at the Everglades Club.

“The happiest times in our marriage were the last six months, when we enjoyed every day together without any cares. We were in love and every day woke up and looked at each other and said this is where we belong. Roger will be remembered for the great man he was,” Mrs. Ailes told this newspaper Saturday.

The couple had moved to Palm Beach last summer, returning only for brief visits to homes in New Jersey and Garrison. Mrs. Ailes is the former owner and publisher of the Putnam County News and Recorder and the Putnam County Courier; she sold the newspapers to editor Douglas Cunningham in December. In fact, Cunningham visited Mr. and Mrs. Ailes in late April during one of their brief trips to Garrison. They were clearly happy and content and were interested to hear of developments at the newspapers since the sale.

Mrs. Ailes urged those who wish to remember her husband to make a donation to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement

Foundation (mc-lef.org).

In a statement on its website, the foundation’s Kallstrom said that “Roger has been an extremely generous and loyal supporter of our foundation since our founding in 1995. Due to Roger and Beth’s incredible generosity, numerous children of fallen Marines and Federal Law Enforcement Officers have received educational grants. In recognition of his overwhelming support, Roger was our 2005 Semper Fidelis Award recipient. We are truly grateful for his counsel and generosity and our deepest sympathies are with his wife Elizabeth and son Zachary.”

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