Conservative radio legend Rush Limbaugh died Wednesday morning at the age of 70 following a battle with advanced lung cancer, his wife Kathryn Limbaugh announced at the beginning of his Wednesday radio program.
“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,” Kathryn announced.
“Rush will forever be the greatest of all time, she added.
Limbaugh, host of The Rush Limbaugh Show for 32 years, had been battling Stage 4 lung cancer since January 2020. Just days after announcing his diagnosis, Limbaugh was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald Trump during the State of the Union on February 4, 2020 “Rush Limbaugh: Thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country,” Trump told the radio host during the address.
Limbaugh periodically updated his audience on his health condition, telling listeners during his final radio broadcast of 2020 that he outlived his prognosis and thanked them for their outpour of support.
“I wasn’t expected to be alive today,” Limbaugh 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.”
Praise for Limbaugh from conservative lawmakers and media figures poured in moments after Limbaugh’s passing.
Rush Limbaugh revolutionized American radio. His voice guided the conservative movement for millions every day.
Rest In Peace, Rush.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) February 17, 2021
Rush Limbaugh was an American icon who brought conservatism into the mainstream—and our country is a better place because of his profound voice. He leaves behind an incredible legacy.
Please join me in praying for his family.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) February 17, 2021
Rush Limbaugh was a giant. With his straightforward, simple articulation of conservatism, he inspired millions. He was one-of-a-kind and he will be missed.
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) February 17, 2021
R.I.P Rush. A true American legend.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 17, 2021
Broadcast Legend Rush Limbaugh has died. His legions of fans will miss him, and his powerful and bright contribution to our national dialogue is a treasure that will endure for decades to come. Rush Limbaugh, a great American, dead at 70. God bless you Rush.
— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) February 17, 2021
Limbaugh was born on January 12, 1951, in Cape Giradeau, Missouri. As a high school student, he landed his first job in radio at local station KGMO. Limbaugh attended Southeast Missouri State University in 1971 and dropped out after one year to return to the radio business. Limbaugh was first syndicated in 1988. At its peak, The Rush Limbaugh Show reached over 15 million listeners.
Limbaugh was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1993 along with the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1998. He is also five-time winner of the National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award for Excellence in Syndicated and Network Broadcasting.