Limbaugh landed his first radio job at the age of 16 and went on to become one of the leading talk show hosts in the country.
Rush Limbaugh, the controversial and incendiary right-wing radio host, died on Wednesday morning at the age of 70 after a long battle with cancer. Limbaugh, who was incredibly popular with conservatives, is known for his provocative and insulting style. More than tens of millions of Americans spent years listening to Limbaugh's radio show. His death was announced by his wife on Limbaugh's radio show. "I, like you, very much wish Rush was behind this golden microphone right now, welcoming you to another exceptional three hours of broadcasting," said Kathryn, reported People. "For over 32 years, Rush has cherished you, his loyal audience, and always looked forward to every single show. 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 announced. Limbaugh was a heavy cigar smoker and eventually succumbed to lung cancer.
Limbaugh was diagnosed with lung cancer in January 2020 and often spoke about it candidly on his show. As his condition worsened in recent times, guest hosts filled in for the 70-year-old. "When I received this diagnosis, and I was shocked, I was stunned, and I was in denial for about a week," said Limbaugh on his show in December. "I wasn't expected to make it to October and then to November and then to December — and yet here I am. Today, I've got some problems, but I'm feeling pretty good today. God's with me today. God knows how important this program is to me." After announcing his death, his wife Kathryn added, "As so many of you know, losing a loved one is terribly difficult — even more so when that loved one is larger than life." Limbaugh was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Trump in 2020. The former President paid tribute to Limbaugh. "Rush was so great, and it was something very special to know him. A very terrific man. He could just talk for three hours, no phone calls, no anything, just talk and everybody found it spellbinding," said Trump, reported Fox News.
Limbaugh, who hails from Missouri, was a college dropout. He landed his first job in radio at the age of 16. He went on to become a rock 'n' roll radio DJ and sports radio host. He ventured into the political commentary in the late 1980s with a syndicated conservative talk show on AM radio. He gained considerable traction among the conservatives for his incendiary opinions. He gained so much political clout that the then-President Ronald Reagan hailed the radio host in a letter, calling him "the Number One voice for conservatism in our Country. I know the liberals call you the most dangerous man in America, but don't worry about it ... America needs to hear 'the way things ought to be.'" Limbaugh set the template to which many right-wing media organizations, and Donald Trump, adhere to, till today. He laid the groundwork that would enable Donald Trump to become President in 2016.
In the 1980s, Rush Limbaugh hosted a regular radio segment called 'AIDS Update', where he celebrated and mocked the deaths of gay and bisexual men.— Ash Sarkar (@AyoCaesar) February 17, 2021
May the hatred he spread in life be buried with him.
The radio show host ran a segment called the “AIDS Update,” where he would celebrate the AIDS-related deaths of gay and bi men, reported LGBTQ Nation. He was known to play horns and bells to celebrate their deaths. It was so insensitive that Limbaugh himself stepped in to stop what he had started.
You guys know he died from lung cancer, right? https://t.co/uh2W6Xv8Nz— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) February 17, 2021
He has made many controversial remarks over the years including calling former President Barack Obama "Barack the Magic Negro" in a parody song. He was called homophobic for his comments on gay people. "When a gay person turns his back on you, it is anything but an insult; it's an invitation," said the radio host once.