Rush Limbaugh, the controversial and influential conservative host who transformed talk radio, has died. He was 70.
Kathryn Limbaugh, his wife of 11 years, announced his death on his show, saying, "It is with profound sadness I must share with you directly that our beloved Rush, my wonderful husband, passed away this morning due to complications from lung cancer.”
She continued, “Losing a loved one is terribly difficult, even more so when that loved one is larger than life. Rush will forever be the greatest of all time."
His death comes one year after he revealed he was battling stage IV lung cancer.
At the time, he told listeners of “The Rush Limbaugh Show” that he was “shocked” by the diagnosis.
He said, "I’m Rush Limbaugh. I’m Mr. Big… I’m indestructible. It can’t be right, but it was.”
Rush continued, "I can't be self-absorbed about it, when that is the tendency when you are told that you've got a due date. You have an expiration date. A lot of people never get told that, so they don't face life this way."
As December 2020 came to a close, Limbaugh reflected on his diagnosis again, telling fans, "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… God knows how important this program is for me today."
“The Rush Limbaugh Show” launched in 1988, and was on the air for 33 years. The self-styled provocateur courted controversy, and was often accused of being racist, homophobic, and misogynistic over the years.
At his peak, he reportedly had 20 million listeners per week, and by the end of his career was making $85 million per year.
In February 2020, President Trump surprise-honored Limbaugh with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during his final State of the Union address.