Rush Limbaugh, Conservative Political Commentator, Dead at 70

Rush Limbaugh
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His fourth wife, Kathryn, announced the news on Wednesday.

Rush Limbaugh has died, his wife, Kathryn Limbaugh, announced on Wednesday. The radio personality and conservative political commentator was 70 years old.

Kathryn announced the news at the beginning of his radio show, The Rush Limbaugh Show. He had been battling lung cancer for a year.

"Rush will forever be the greatest of all time," she said. "Rush was an extraordinary man. A gentle giant. Brilliant, quick-witted, genuinely kind. Extremely generous. Passionate. Courageous. And the hardest working person I know. Despite being one of the most recognized, powerful people in the world, Rush never let the success change his core or beliefs. ... From today on, there will be a tremendous void in our lives, and on the radio."

"Rush encouraged so many of us to think for ourselves," she continued. "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. On behalf of the Limbaugh family, I would personally like to thank each and every one of you who prayed for Rush and inspired him to keep going. You rallied around Rush and lifted him up when he needed you the most... I am certain, without a shadow of a doubt, if he could be here today, he would be. He loved you, and he loved this radio program with every part of his being. Instead, we know our Rush is in heaven, encouraging everyone in the same we he did on Earth."

The Rush Limbaugh Show began in 1988, and he played a major role in conservative politics since. Donald Trump awarded him the Medal of Freedom in 2020, one day after he revealed his lung cancer diagnosis on the air. Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted about Limbaugh's death on Wednesday.

"R.I.P Rush. A true American legend," Trump wrote.

Limbaugh had been open about his health complications and addiction struggles over the years. In 2001, he said he had lost his hearing and later got a cochlear implant. In 2003, he announced he was addicted to pain medication and was checking himself into a treatment center, and he struck a deal in 2006 with prosecutors who had accused him of illegally deceiving doctors in order to get multiple painkiller prescriptions. In October, he told his radio listeners that his lung cancer was terminal.

"I am extremely grateful to be able to come here to the studio and to maintain as much normalcy as possible," he said. " ... In a nutshell, there are lots of ups and downs in this particular illness. And it can feel like a roller coaster at times that you can't get off of. And again, I want to stress here that I know countless numbers of you are experiencing the same thing. If it isn't lung cancer, it's some kind of cancer. If it isn't you, it's somebody really close to you. If it isn't an illness, it's something."