His wife said in a statement: "During a career that stretched over more than five decades, his work in entertainment, in politics, and in news affected the lives of many millions. And so even as we mourn his death, we celebrate his life."
Rupert Murdoch, the head of Fox News' parent company 21st Century Fox, said Mr Ailes played a "huge role in shaping America's media over the last thirty years.
"Roger was a great patriot who never ceased fighting for his beliefs," he added.
Born in Warren, Ohio, his big break came in 1967 when Richard Nixon appeared as a guest on a talk show he was working on, persuading the future US president about the power of television.
He played a role in Nixon's successful campaign, as well as for other Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush Snr.
Ailes became the founding boss of Fox News in 1996, turning it into a profits and ratings powerhouse. It soon became a favourite of right-wing viewers, outpacing liberal-leaning rivals like CNN.