Rush Limbaugh, bastion of conservative talk radio, has died of cancer at age 70. His wife, Kathryn, made the announcement on Limbaugh's popular talk show. "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."
Limbaugh is credited with transforming modern radio and helping shape the modern Republican party, per Fox News.
In January 2020, he learned he had Stage 4 lung cancer and shared with listeners that he had a "deeply personal relationship with God." Only days later, first lady Melania Trump bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Limbaugh after he received the honor during President Donald Trump's State of the Union address.
In December of the same year, the Heritage Foundation awarded Limbaugh its inaugural Titan of Conservatism Award. Foundation President Kay James expressed her condolences about this "wonderful friend and true patriot" on Twitter:
The @Heritage family and I join millions of Americans in mourning the loss of broadcasting legend #RushLimbaugh, a wonderful friend and true patriot.— Kay C. James (@KayColesJames) February 17, 2021
May the Lord comfort his family and friends in their sorrow.https://t.co/FAgF9K7kBW pic.twitter.com/B4ge4Geyub
Limbaugh is known as the "pioneer of AM radio" per his website, which also says he "revolutionized the media and political landscape with his unprecedented combination of serious discussion of political, cultural and social issues along with satirical and biting humor, which parodies previously 'untouchable' personalities and topics."
In 1988, Rush launched his powerhouse radio broadcast, The Rush Limbaugh Show, into national syndication with 56 radio stations. The show is now heard on more than 600 stations by up to 27 million people each week, earning it the distinction of the highest-rated national radio talk show in America. Limbaugh also received the Marconi Radio Award five times and was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians, the Radio Hall of Fame and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
In the Oct. 19, 2020, broadcast of his show, Limbaugh again spoke of his faith, TCT Network reports. "You know, I wake up every day and thank God that I did," Limbaugh told his listeners. "I go to bed every night praying I'm going to wake up. I don't know how many of you do that, those of you who are not sick, those of you who are not facing something like I and countless other millions are. But it's a blessing when you wake up. It's a stop-everything-and-thank-God moment ... I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is of immense value, strength, confidence, and that's why I'm able to remain fully committed to the idea that what is supposed to happen will happen when it's meant to."
Evangelist Franklin Graham, president and CEO of both the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, tweeted his condolences, calling Limbaugh a "conservative voice of reason":
My heartfelt condolences and prayers for the family of Rush Limbaugh, who passed away today after a battle with lung cancer. He was a conservative voice of reason for so many years and will be greatly missed. https://t.co/qnHp3bOPiz— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) February 17, 2021
Television host and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee also expressed his regret:
Saddened by news of the death of Rush Limbaugh, whose wit and wisdom comforted conservatives and confused leftists. He loved God, America, and his audience. His impact on broadcasting will never be equaled.— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) February 17, 2021
Brigitte Gabriel, author, activist and founder of ACT for America, expressed her sorrow (and, later, outrage over those critical of Limbaugh) in a series of tweets, including the following:
Rush Limbaugh changed the way we digest our news.— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) February 17, 2021
His legacy will live on forever.
And the following tweet shares the audio of Kathryn Limbaugh announcing her husband's death:
Here's the audio of Rush Limbaugh's wife Kathryn behind the golden mic of the Rush Limbaugh show today to announce Rush's passing: pic.twitter.com/hEezQuoDex— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) February 17, 2021
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