Photo: Bill Pugliano / Getty
PALM BEACH, FL, February 17, 2021 ~ Rush Limbaugh, the iconic talk radio host and pioneer of conservative news, died Wednesday after a battle with stage four lung cancer.
Limbaugh’s wife Kathryn made the announcement on his radio show Wednesday, saying in part “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.”
In a statement, WJR Morning Show Host Paul W. Smith said, “I am deeply saddened by the death of my friend, Rush Limbaugh. Over the years, I was honored to fill in for him on his radio show. He was an extremely talented broadcaster who changed the talk radio landscape, and frankly, the world! He was also a very generous and kind man, a gentle man in every sense of the word, and he will be deeply missed. A great voice has been silenced and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.“
Rush Limbaugh reacts after First Lady Melania Trump gives him the Presidential Medal of Freedom during the State of the Union address February 4, 2020. Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty
In 1987, the FCC‘s Fairness Doctrine, a policy requiring political issues to have equal coverage time from both sides, was repealed. This allowed Limbaugh to broadcast his conservative opinions without fear of reprimand, and allowed him to become the founding father of mainstream conservative news.
After moving to Sacramento, California, Rush launched “The Rush Limbaugh Show” while working for KFBK-AM. In 1988, the show became nationally-syndicated, airing on 56 stations. Since then, the show expanded to more than 600 stations, and became the most listened-to radio show in the country. According to the show’s website, Limbaugh ended his run with 27-million weekly listeners.
In a 2008 interview, Limbaugh told “The New York Times,” “I take the responsibility that comes with my show very seriously. I want to persuade people with ideas. 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.“
February 17, 2021 ~ Rush delivers a message to his listeners about his terminal medical diagnosis, and his journey in finding peace in his final days.
February 17, 2021 ~ Rush delivers his final on-air statement, thanking his listeners for their years of listenership and support.
February 17, 2021 ~ Rush talks about how he got into radio, and what all his years of broadcasting have meant to him.
February 17, 2021 ~ A listener delivers a moving tribute to Rush in his final days broadcasting on the EIB Radio Network.