Rush Hudson Limbaugh III, an American icon, political commentator, and host of the hugely popular eponymous radio show has died at the age of 70. His family announced the passing. After a battle with lung cancer, the pioneer of talk radio was expecting his time to come. He said on his last radio show of 2020: “I wasn’t expected to be alive today. 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 the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded by President Trump, who said at the time, “Rush Limbaugh: Thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country.”
As one of the most recognizable voices in the country, Rush began his radio career more than 50 years ago in 1967, aged just 16. He soon became a disc jockey for local radio before beginning his now-famous show in 1988.
His ideas on American Exceptionalism were formed during his travels around the world. He told his listeners in 2013:
“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… 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.
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.”
Rush Limbaugh’s legacy will remain that of one of the most influential media figures in American history.