Rush Limbaugh, the most influential media personality in the history of conservative politics, and an Icon in the broadcast world passed away on Wednesday morning at the age of 70 after a lengthy battle with Stage IV lung cancer.
Limbaugh who transformed talk radio and politics for decades in America behind his golden microphone is being mourned all over the world today by millions who loved and adored him.
In January of 2020 Limbaugh was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer, and was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Trump at the State of the Union address a few days later.
First Lady Melania Trump sitting beside Limbaugh presented the award for America’s highest civilian honor to him. It was an emotional event that Limbaugh didn’t know what coming, and he was so grateful and tearful during the presentation.
“Rush Limbaugh: Thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country,” President Trump said during the address.
The Rush Limbaugh Show officially began in 1988, behind a golden microphone that had EIB written on it (Excellence in Broadcasting).
The program which started 33 years ago with national syndication that was only on 56 radio stations, but it grew rapidly to the most listened to radio show In the United States and in American history, airing on more than 600 stations.
Over 27 million people tuned into Limbaugh on a weekly basis, and Limbaugh’s fantasied was known as “Dittoheads,” as they would often say “Ditto” when they agreed with the historic iconic host.
In his final radio broadcast of 2020, Limbaugh thanked his listeners and supporters revealing at that time that he had already outlived his prognosis.
“I wasn’t expected to be alive today,” he 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.”
Limbaugh was a staunch supporter of President Trump, and put his full support behind in for the 2016 elections. Many of his listeners followed suit as Limbaugh opened their eyes to the good that Trump could and would do for the country.
Even as ill as he was, Limbaugh hosted an event for Trump in October of 2020 in an unprecedented “Radio Rally” , during which the President was virtually given control of the coveted Golden microphone to answer questions from Rush and his listeners. A first time for any President to do that.
Limbaugh, born in Cape Girardeau, Mo., on Jan. 12, 1951, began his radio career in 1967 as a “helper” when he was only 16 years old. He eventually graduated to disk jockey and worked at a small station roughly 100 miles south of St. Louis while attending high school.
“I was totally consumed,” Limbaugh told the New York Times in 1990, noting that his idol was a Chicago radio host named Larry Lujack. By 1971, Limbaugh was a morning radio host in Pittsburgh, where he was oddly told to cover a certain amount of “farm news” because the area was surrounded by many agriculture communities. In 2007 he explained to listeners how the young radio host managed to keep listeners despite the bizarre requirement.
“The last thing that the audience of my show cares about is farm news. If farm news came on, bam! They pushed the button and go somewhere else. So, we had to figure out, ‘Okay, how do we do this and protect the license?’ So I turned the farm news every day into a funny bit with farm sound effects and the roosters crowing and so forth, and I’d make fun of the stockyard feed prices or whatever it was, so that we could say, ‘We’re doing barn news,’ agriculture news. There was all kinds of things like that,” Limbaugh told listeners.
The tidbit offered a glimpse into Limbaugh’s early days, proving that he was a master of keeping audiences engaged from a young age. Limbaugh has said he realized America was the “greatest country ever” when taking trips to Europe and Asia in his late 20s and early 30s, an experience that helped shape his political views.
“I’m aware that the United States is young compared to countries in Europe and Asia that have been around for hundreds of years. They’re thousand-year-old civilizations,” he told listeners in 2013. “So, I go to Europe and say, ‘Wait a minute. Why is this bedroom so damned old-fashioned and doesn’t work? What the hell is this? They call this a toilet?’ So I started asking myself, ‘How is it that we, who have only been around 200 years, are light-years ahead of people that have been alive a thousand?’ So, I started thinking this. It was a matter of genuine curiosity to me, and not from a braggadocios standpoint.”
Limbaugh continued the trip down memory lane: “I was literally interested in how that happened, and then I started to think about all the other things that we led the world in: Manufacturing, technology, innovation, invention, creation, and it all led back to liberty and freedom and the pursuit of happiness and dreams coming true and working hard for whatever you want and being able to do what you love, not just have to dream about it.”
From that point forward, Limbaugh believed that “American exceptionalism” shouldn’t be frowned upon, and his conservative views became more prominent.
“We stood for the concepts that are in our Declaration of Independence: Right to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. We stood for that, and we were the beacon for it, and to this day that is why the oppressed of the world still seek to come into this country,” he said.
Limbaugh also credited National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr. for teaching him how to articulate conservative views.
“He single-handedly is responsible for my learning to form and frame my beliefs and express them verbally in a concise and understandable way,” Limbaugh once said.
Rush Limbaugh, an American Icon, a Broadcast Icon, an amazing man who we all loved and adored will forever be missed. Rush will live on in our hearts and minds forever. He fundamentally changed broadcasting, talk radio, and even how we do politics.
We love you Rush! Today we send our heartfelt condolences, prayers, and thoughts to the family of Rush Limbaugh, and to the tens of millions of Americans he touched every day.
Thanks to our friends at Fox News for contributing to this article.