Conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh has died at age 70
- Rush Limbaugh, one of the most influential conservative talk-radio hosts in the US, has died.
- Limbaugh announced in February 2020 that he had been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.
- His hyper-partisan, liberal-bashing radio style influenced several other commentators over the years.
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Conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh died on Wednesday, Fox News reported. He was 70 years old.
Limbaugh, who dominated airwaves for more than three decades with his hyper-partisan, liberal-bashing style on "The Rush Limbaugh Show," announced he had been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer in February 2020.
He told listeners on-air that the diagnosis was confirmed in January 2020, after he had experienced shortness of breath. Limbaugh said that at the time that he was reluctant to discuss personal matters on his show, but he realized it was better to be honest with his listeners.
"It is what it is. And you know me, I'm the mayor of Realville," he said at the time. "My intention is to come here every day I can."
Limbaugh started his radio show, which was syndicated on AM and FM radio stations around the country, in 1984 at KFBK in Sacramento, California. It then moved to New York City in 1988, and eventually, Palm Beach, Florida, according to the Associated Press.
He quickly became one of the most influential voices in right-wing politics, and his style inspired a number of broadcasters that came after him, including Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Bill O'Reilly.
Yet throughout his career, Limbaugh repeatedly used hate-filled speech, bigotry, and racism on his show - targeting peopleofcolor, women, the LGBTQ community, and teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg, who has Asperger's.
In 2007, he featured a song on his radio show about former President Barack Obama, titled "Barack the Magic Negro," which said the president was "black, but not authentically," and "makes guilty whites feel good."
Still, Limbaugh was a favorite of many conservative politicians, including Ronald Reagan, who in a 1992 letter to the radio host, said: "You've become the number one voice for conservatism in our country." In more recent years, Limbaugh was a staunch ally to President Donald Trump.
At Trump's 2020 State of the Union address, Limbaugh was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an award created to honor Americans who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors," according to Vox.
Limbaugh, who was regularly pictured smoking cigars, faced a number of health and addiction issues in his life.
In 2003, Limbaugh admitted to having a prescription painkiller addiction and entered rehab. In 2006, he was arrested on prescription drug charges, though he avoided jail time after making a plea deal, the New York Times reported.