Feb. 17, 2021 — Rush Limbaugh, for decades a popular, controversial, and influential talk radio host and conservative commentator, died Wednesday, according to a family statement.
He was 70.
His death comes after a stage IV lung cancer diagnosis he announced in October.
On Feb. 3, 2020, Limbaugh announced on his show that he was undergoing treatment following episodes of shortness of breath. “The upshot is that I have been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer,” Limbaugh said during a live broadcast. He added, “There are going to be days that I’m not going to be able to be here because I will be undergoing treatment, or I’m reacting to treatment.”
The following day, when Limbaugh attended the State of the Union address, President Donald Trump awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in an unannounced move.
Limbaugh announced Oct. 20 that his stage IV cancer had become terminal and that doctors had detected new growth.
Late in 2020, in his final broadcast of the year, Limbaugh thanked his listeners and supporters.
“I wasn’t expected to be alive today,” he said, according to Fox News. “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.”
He is survived by Kathryn Adams Limbaugh, his wife.
“Rush encouraged so many of us to think for ourselves. To learn and to lead. He often said it did not matter where you started or what you look like, as Americans we all have endless opportunities like nowhere else in the world,” she said as she announced her husband’s death on his radio show Wednesday. “From today on, there will be a tremendous void in our lives, and on the radio.”
Rush Hudson Limbaugh III was born on Jan. 12, 1951, in Cape Girardeau, MO. He dropped out of Southeast Missouri State University after two semesters to pursue a career in radio.
He worked as a disc jockey for stations in Pittsburgh and Kansas City, but found success when hired to replace confrontational radio host Morton Downey Jr. for KFBK in Sacramento in 1984.