Rush Limbaugh, a talk radio pioneer and one of the most influential voices within the Republican Party for decades, died on Wednesday after a battle with lung cancer.
He was 70 years old.
The news was confirmed this morning by Limbaugh’s wife, Kathryn, who made the announcement on her late husband’s widely listened-to program.
A prominent member of the Conservative media, Limbaugh disclosed the severity of his Stage IV illness to listeners of his syndicated “The Rush Limbaugh Show” in February of 2020.
He then took several days off to receive treatment.
That same month, Limbaugh was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by President Donald Trump.
“Rush Limbaugh: Thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country,” President Trump said during last year’s State of the Union address, prompting a standing ovation for the polarizing host.
Limbaugh — who once referred to Barack Obama as the “affirmative action candidate” and to Democratic women as “femi-Nazis” — was one of the most popular and well-paid personalities in all of journalism.
In 2008, he sighed an eight-year deal with Premiere Networks valued at $400 million.
His audience at his peak was estimated at about 25 million a week.
In his final broadcast of 2020, Limbaugh thanked his listeners and supporters, revealing at the time that he had outlived his prognosis.
He admittedly knew that he didn’t have a lot of time remaining.
“I wasn’t expected to be alive today,” the host said on air.
“I wasn’t expected to make it to October, and then to November, and then to December. And yet, here I am, and today, got some problems, but I’m feeling pretty good today.”
Limbaugh was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1993 and into the National Association of Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame in 1998.
He also wrote a number of bestselling books … including 1992’s “The Way Things Ought to Be” and 1993’s “See, I Told You So” and the children’s book series “The Adventures of Rush Revere.”
Limbaugh played as significant a role as maybe anyone in Trump getting elected to the Presidency in 2016 because he was one of the only mainstream media members to take the real estate magnate’s campaign seriously.
In October 2020, Limbaugh hosted Trump for what was an unprecedented two-hour “radio rally,” giving Trump free reign of his show as a way to help him win re-election.
A day after the deadly January riot by Trump supporters, in a bid to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s victory from November, Limbaugh compared the invaders of the U.S. Capitol to the Revolutionary War patriots.
“There’s a lot of people calling for the end of violence,” Limbaugh said on his radio program.
“There’s a lot of conservatives, social media, who say that any violence or aggression at all is unacceptable.
“Regardless of the circumstances. I’m glad Sam Adams, Thomas Paine, the actual tea party guys, the men at Lexington and Concord didn’t feel that way.”
In the middle of the coronavirus crisis in March 2020, meanwhile, Limbaugh likened the outbreak to the common cold and blamed the media for fanning a panic.
“This coronavirus? All of this panic is just not warranted,” he said on the air.
“They’re not uncommon. Coronaviruses are respiratory cold and flu viruses. There is nothing about this except where it came from and the itinerant media panic…
“This is on the way to wiping out the U.S. economy, and it’s going to be more than just Donald Trump and his reelection chances that get hurt if that’s what happens here…
“Nothing like wiping out the entire U.S. economy with a biothreat from China, is there?”
Limbaugh was married four times and leaves behind his wife, Kathryn Rogers.
Love him or hate him a whole lot for his sexism, elitism and bigoty, one cannot deny the influence Rush Limbaugh had on society for many, many years.
He is now dead.