Shepard Smith fondly remembers “shaper of American history” Roger Ailes

Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith broadcasts his "Studio B" program, in New York, Tuesday, May 24, 2011. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Fox News’ Shepard Smith reacted to the death of former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes with a moving eulogy during a Thursday episode of “Shepard Smith Reporting.”

“I loved him,” he said, even in spite of Ailes’ “well-documented flaws.” Smith spoke of the “profound impact” that Ailes had on his life.

He recounted the first conversation they ever had, which occurred over the phone. Ailes was proud of Smith’s work and asked that he work with the network in New York.

Smith recalled how Ailes grew the network and protected the employees from their competition.

RELATED: Shepard Smith opens up about a very personal part of his life

Several reacted to Smith’s heartfelt eulogy:

RELATED: Sean Hannity weighs in on the death of Roger Ailes with a warm tribute to his mentor

Smith first spoke publicly about his sexuality and his relationship with Ailes when he defended his former boss following accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct by several former female employees. Smith was asked if Ailes had ever used a homophobic slur against him. He answered by saying that Ailes had never done such a thing and in fact was a close confidant.

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