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Rush Limbaugh Is Dead at 70

Conservative radio host was diagnosed with lung cancer a year ago
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2021 11:34 AM CST
Rush Limbaugh Is Dead at 70
FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2020 file photo, Rush Limbaugh reacts as first Lady Melania Trump, and his wife Kathryn, applaud, as President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. Limbaugh, the talk radio host who became the voice...   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

(Newser) – Rush Limbaugh has died at age 70, his wife Kathryn announced Wednesday at the start of the conservative radio host's show, which USA Today notes he had not appeared on for nearly two weeks. Fox News has these lines from her: "Losing a loved one is terribly difficult, even more so when that loved one is larger than life. Rush will forever be the greatest of all time." The news follows the longtime cigar smoker's February 2020 Stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis, reports the New York Post. More:

  • USA Today lauds him as "the talk titan who made right-wing radio financially viable in American media and himself a Republican kingmaker years before Fox News."
  • The AP recalls that Limbaugh's idol, Ronald Reagan, praised Limbaugh in a letter that he read on the air in 1992: "You've become the number one voice for conservatism." The AP writes that Limbaugh "influenced the likes of Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and countless other conservative commentators who pushed the boundaries of what passes as acceptable public discourse."

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  • Fox News reports the three-hour "Rush Limbaugh Show" was first syndicated nationally 33 years ago, and over the decades grew from 56 stations to more than 600, with as many as 27 million listeners per week.
  • In its obit, CNBC recalls the self-proclaimed "Doctor of Democracy" as a man who led the conservative-media charge "by bashing 'feminazis,' 'environmentalist wackos,' 'commie libs,' and prominent Black people—especially former President Barack Obama." (The AP recalls Limbaugh would play the song "Barack the Magic Negro" on his show.)
  • Fox News reports his views on "American exceptionalism" were solidified during his travels in Europe and Asia during his 20s and 30. It quotes him as saying: "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?'"
  • "Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and just think to yourself, 'I am just full of hot gas?'" David Letterman asked him in 1993 on The Late Show. Limbaugh's reply: "I am a servant of humanity. I am in the relentless pursuit of the truth. I actually sit back and think that I'm just so fortunate to have this opportunity to tell people what’s really going on."
(Read more Rush Limbaugh stories.)

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