Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, whose broadcast originated from his home studio in Palm Beach, has died of complications from lung cancer. He was 70 years old.
His wife made the announcement Wednesday on Limbaugh’s radio show.
“Losing a loved one is terribly difficult, even more so when that loved one is larger than life,” Kathryn Adams Limbaugh said. “Rush will forever be the greatest of all time.”
Limbaugh had been absent from his show for the last two weeks while he was undergoing treatment.
He was first diagnosed with cancer in January 2020.
With his three-hour weekday radio show broadcast on nearly 600 stations across the U.S. and a massive audience of millions hanging on his every word, Limbaugh’s rants shaped the national political conversation, swaying the opinions of average Republicans and the direction of the party.
In October, Limbaugh told listeners of his show that there had been “some progression” in his cancer diagnosis. He said it’s “not dramatic, but it is the wrong direction.”
Former President Donald Trump awarded Limbaugh with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, during his State of the Union Address last year.
Trump told Fox News “it was a great honor” to present Limbaugh with the medal.
“Half the room went crazy and the other half of the room, they knew he should get it,” Trump said Wednesday after learning of Limbaugh’s death. “But it was special and he was special.”
Trump said he last spoke with Limbaugh “three or four days ago.”
“His fight was very, very courageous,” Trump said. “He was very, very sick.”
Trump called Limbaugh “very brave.”
“He was fighting to the very end,” Trump said. “He was a fighter.”
“The Rush Limbaugh Show” was first nationally syndicated in 1988. The show began at WABC in New York City and carried on after Limbaugh left for South Florida.
Limbaugh moved to Palm Beach in 1996, joining the migration that attracted other fiery conservative personalities like Ann Coulter, Matt Drudge, former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, who died there in 2017, and, arguably Palm Beach’s most famous resident, Trump.
Limbaugh’s remarks also derailed a 2009 bid to become one of the owners of the NFL’s St. Louis Rams.
In 2003, Limbaugh admitted to being addicted to prescription painkillers, a habit he claimed stemmed from undergoing spinal surgery a few years earlier.
The result was a three-year criminal investigation that led to his 2006 arrest in Palm Beach County on a warrant charging him with “doctor shopping.” Limbaugh ultimately agreed to a plea deal in which prosecutors agreed to drop the charge if he continued with drug treatment and paid $30,000 toward the cost of the investigation.
Kathryn Adams Limbaugh called her husband an “irreplaceable, remarkable talent.” She praised his listeners, saying he “loved you and he loved this radio program with every part of his being.”