PALM BEACH, FL – Rush Limbaugh the controversial and iconic conservative radio talk show host who many credit with shaping the modern-day GOP, has passed away at the age of 70 after an extended battle against stage four lung cancer.
Kathryn, Limbaugh’s wife, announced his passing Wednesday on his radio show. The couple had married in 2010.
“As so many of you know, losing a loved one is terribly difficult, even more so when that loved one is larger than life,” she said. “Rush will forever be the greatest of all time.”
Limbaugh, a resident of Palm Beach, Florida, has originally announced his cancer diagnosis on his program in February 2020, and continued hosting his show throughout his treatment; however, he later revealed in October that his treatments were no longer working.
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For 32 years, Limbaugh hosted the “The Rush Limbaugh Show,” a nationally-syndicated AM radio talk show where he discussed conservative politics and greatly grew in popularity and influence, becoming extremely successful over the years.
In 2018, Forbes listed his earnings at $84.5 million, and in December 2019 it was estimated that Limbaugh had 15.5 million weekly listeners, making his the most-listened-to radio show in the country. He has also been inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Considered by many to be a pioneer in the talk radio field, Limbaugh was a strong proponent of conservative ideas and values and often courted controversy with his subject matter, including conspiracy theories and commentary that many regarded as hateful towards certain groups.
In February 2020, President Donald Trump – a personal friend of Limbaugh – awarded the talk show host with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor a President can bestow on a civilian.
Limbaugh – whom President Ronald Reagan referred to as the “Number One voice for conservatism” – said in a 2008 interview that he was well aware of his iconic legacy, and it was something that he took very seriously.
“I take the responsibility that comes with my show very seriously. I want to persuade people with ideas,” he said. “I don’t walk around thinking about my power. But in my heart and soul, I know I have become the intellectual engine of the conservative movement.”