Head of the BBC newsroom Mary Hockaday announced the news to staff in an email this morning (July 3) and an official statement was released later.
"It is with great sadness we can confirm that Alison Ford, Editor of BBC Breakfast, has died after a long illness," the statement read.
"Alison was a wonderful and passionate Editor of BBC Breakfast, who inspired her team and colleagues with her editorial spirit and flair.
"She successfully led the move of Breakfast to Salford and was an important and well-regarded senior figure within the BBC Newsroom and English Regions, where she worked previously. Our thoughts are with her family and friends. "
A minute's silence was held on the first floor of New Broadcasting House in Ford's memory at 1.30pm today.
In an email, director-general Tony Hall said: "I was so sorry to hear about Alison.