Rush Limbaugh, the conservative talk radio pioneer, died Wednesday at the age of 70 after battling lung cancer since February of last year.
A self-proclaimed “Doctor of Democracy”, he transformed talk radio and politics and helped shape the modern -day Republican Party during his decades behind the microphone.
“I know that I am most certainly not the Limbaugh that you tuned in to listen to today,” his wife, Kathryn said on his radio show.
“I, like you, very much wish Rush was behind this golden microphone right now, welcoming you to another exceptional three hours of broadcasting.”
“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,” she continued.
Days after revealing his cancer diagnosis, former President Donald Trump awarded him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, while former First Lady Melania Trump presented him with the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Trump on Wednesday said that he had spoken with Limbaugh three or four days earlier.
“He was fighting to the very end,” said Trump. “He is a legend. He really is.”
Former President George W. Bush also lamented on the radio host’s death.
“While he was brash, at times controversial, and always opinionated, he spoke his mind as a voice for millions of Americans and approached each day with gusto” he said in a statement.
“Rush Limbaugh was an indomitable spirit with a big heart, and he will be missed.”
The radio icon continued to host his show despite his diagnosis, and vowed to do his program “as normally and as competently” while undergoing treatment.
During his last broadcast of 2020, he thanked his listeners for their support.
“I wasn’t expected to make it to October, and then to November, and then to December,” he shared.
“And yet, here I am, and today, got some problems, but I’m feeling pretty good today.”
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