Rush Limbaugh, age 70, passed away on February 17, 2021, in Palm Beach, Florida. He was born on January 12, 1951 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri to parents Rush Hudson Limbaugh II and Mildred Carolyn (née Armstrong) Limbaugh. He attended Cape Girardeau Central High School where he played football. During this time, at age 16 he worked his first radio job at KGMO, a local radio station in Cape Girardeau. He used the air name Rusty Sharpe having found “Sharpe” in a telephone book. Because of his parents’ desire to see him attend college, he enrolled at Southeast Missouri State University but dropped out after two semesters. According to his mother, “he flunked everything, he just didn’t seem interested in anything except radio.” He married Kathryn Adams Limbaugh in 2010, and had no children.
He was an American radio personality, conservative political commentator, author, and television show host. He was best known as the host of his radio show The Rush Limbaugh Show, which has been in national syndication on AM and FM radio stations. Limbaugh hosted a national television show from 1992 to 1996. He was among the most highly compensated figures in American radio. Limbaugh was one of the premier voices of the conservative movement in the United States since the 1990s, heightened by the repeal of the FCC fairness doctrine. He was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. During the 2020 State of the Union Address, President Donald Trump awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Rush Limbaugh, was a monumentally influential media icon who transformed talk radio and politics in his decades behind the microphone, helping shape the modern-day Republican Party. In his first New York Times best seller, Limbaugh described himself as conservative, and was critical of broadcasters in many media outlets for claiming to be objective. He called for the adoption of core conservative philosophies in order to ensure the survival of the Republican Party. Limbaugh, a proponent of American exceptionalism, often criticized politicians he believed reject this notion seeing them as unpatriotic or anti-American.
In 1992, Limbaugh published his first book, The Way Things Ought to Be, followed by See, I Told You So, the following year. Both titles were number one on The New York Times Best Seller list for 24 weeks. His first book was dictated by himself, and transcribed and edited by Wall Street Journal Journal writer John Fund. In 2013, Limbaugh authored his first children’s book entitled, Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel with Exceptional Americans. He received the Author of the Year Award from the Children’s Book Council for this work. Limbaugh’s second children’s book was released the following year, entitled, Rush Revere and the First Patriots: Time-Travel with Exceptional Americans. This book was nominated as an author-of-the year finalist for the annual Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards. Limbaugh’s third children’s book was released later this same year, written with his wife, Kathryn, and entitled Rush Revere and the American Revolution. The Limbaugh’s dedicated this to the U.S. military and their families.
Limbaugh, a cigar and former cigarette smoker, was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer on January 20, 2020, after first experiencing shortness of breath on January 12. He announced the diagnosis on air during his radio show on February 3; conceding that he would miss airtime to undergo treatment, he stated that he planned to continue the program “as normally and competently” as he could while undergoing treatment. On October 20, 2020, Limbaugh announced that attempts to treat the cancer were no longer containing the cancer, that his diagnosis was terminal and that he had been given a time frame on when he should expect to die. In his final broadcast in December 2020, he said “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 died on February 17, 2021 at the age of 70. In 2015, he questioned the link between smoking and cancer deaths, arguing that smokers aren’t at any greater risk than people who “eat carrots.”