The world said goodbye to an iconic Conservative figure Wednesday, Mr. Rush Limbaugh.
Limbaugh was 70 years old. He was famous for his long-time, well established career as an author, political commentator, TV show host and radio personality. His nationally-syndicated radio program “The Rush Limbaugh Show” aired on AM talk radio for 32 years, with millions of loyal listeners tuning in for 3 hours every weekday. He also hosted a talk show for a brief period from 1992-1996.
His wife Kathryn made the solemn announcement on Limbaugh’s radio show Wednesday. “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.”
Click to Listen: Rush Limbaugh’s wife Kathryn on the radio host’s passing
A pioneer in talk-radio, Limbaugh remained very successful throughout his career due to perseverance and his dedication to the Conservative movement. Dubbed by former President Ronald Reagan as the “number one voice for Conservatism in the country”, Limbaugh was also a generous man with his wealth. He donated $4.2 million to the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation and Forbes once listed him as the “4th” most generous on their list of celebrities. Friends of Limbaugh say he was known to easily throw down $5,000 as a tip after dining at a restaurant.
Limbaugh had a very close relationship with his radio audience and remained extremely grateful for their support, love and affection; he told his listeners that their response was “unlike anything I’ve ever dreamed of or experienced.”
However he preferred to not discuss his battles publicly. “Let me remind you, I told you at the beginning of this that I’m very flattered by all of you who care,” Limbaugh stated. “Don’t misunderstand. But I vowed not to let this take control of my life. I’ve seen that happen. It’s hard not to. It’s a terminal disease for a lot of people. It takes over your life. I’ve vowed to not let that happen as much as I can.”
Limbaugh was a big time supporter of former President Trump and strongly defended him during his first and second impeachment. He stated on his talk show that Trump’s sole offense was being “too successful.” “He’s being impeached because his successes threaten great damage to the Democrat Party,” Limbaugh declared. He reiterated that Democrats were afraid of Trump as a public figure, and stated that their only desire with the impeachment trials was to attempt to prevent him from being in office again.
In February 2020 Limbaugh announced his battle with advanced lung cancer. He underwent treatment while continuing to host his show. Trump awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom the very next day, which is the highest honor that a President can give to a private citizen.
Trump called in to Fox news on Wednesday to give his condolences for Limbaugh’s passing, describing him as “unique”, “courageous” and “irreplaceable. “He was a fantastic man, a fantastic talent and people, whether they loved him or not, they respected him, they really did,” Trump said.
Limbaugh had a very close relationship with his radio audience, and remained grateful for their support, however he preferred to not discuss his battles publicly. “Let me remind you, I told you at the beginning of this that I’m very flattered by all of you who care,” Limbaugh stated. “Don’t misunderstand. But I vowed not to let this take control of my life. I’ve seen that happen. It’s hard not to. It’s a terminal disease for a lot of people. It takes over your life. I’ve vowed to not let that happen as much as I can.”
Condolences were offered across social media tonight. Former Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany wrote a heartfelt op-ed and said her family prayed often for Limbaugh. She expressed how he was a huge part of her life and her childhood, as she and her friends grew up listening to the “Rush Limbaugh Program” in her dad’s pick-up truck. WSB Radio 95.5, the channel which his show aired on showed their respect.
Representative Jim Jordan called Limbaugh an “icon, patriot and an American hero. While Mark Levin commented to Sean Hannity that he was “America’s Spokesperson”. Many others offered their support and respect.
For this last broadcast of 2020 on December 23, Limbaugh gave an emotional sign-off speech. He thanked his wife for supporting him through his health struggles and never leaving his side. “My point in all of this today is gratitude,” he said. “My point in all of this is to say thanks and tell everybody involved how much I love you from the bottom of a sizable and growing and still-beating heart.”
“I wasn’t expected to be alive today,” he told his listeners. “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 said he was initially very stunned about his terminal diagnosis and that it had been hard on him and everyone close to him. However, he remained hopeful.
“I can’t be self-absorbed about it, when that is the tendency when you are told that you’ve got a due date,” he said, choking up. “You have an expiration date. A lot of people never get told that, so they don’t face life this way.”
Limbaugh’s last radio broadcast was on February 2 2021. His final closing words were: “Well, my friends, that’s it. Yet another excursion into broadcast excellence in the can. Enjoyed being with you today, always do. And look forward to the next time. Thanks to Mark Steyn who has been in standby mode all day. Wasn’t sure I was going to be able to go today and then each hour I had to assess. But we made it. Thank you Mr. Steyn. See you all next time.”
Many condolences to Rush Limbaugh’s family and friends. He will be greatly missed, but his spirit and memory will carry on in the heart’s who cherished him forever.