What was his cause of death? Limbaugh was dealing with a well-known battle with lung cancer. Fox News broke the news of Limbaugh’s death after his wife’s announcement.
He was an important and controversial figure in conservative media and politics for years since his radio show debuted in 1988, launching a new trend of conservative talk radio. Former President Donald Trump gave Limbaugh the Medal of Freedom while in office.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Limbaugh’s Wife Says Limbaugh Was ‘the Greatest of All Time,’ Revealing He Died That Morning
According to CBS42, Limbaugh’s wife Kathryn announced his death on his radio show on February 17, 2021. She revealed that he died earlier that morning.
“Rush will forever be the greatest of all time,” she said.
She added, according to CNBC,
I know that I am most certainly not the Limbaugh that you tuned in to listen to today,” Kathryn Limbaugh said. “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.
Limbaugh had revealed on his show: “I can’t help but feel that I’m letting everybody down with this, but the upshot is that I have been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer,”
2. Rush Died a Little More Than a Year After Learning He had Stage Four Lung Cancer & Was on the Air Through Early February
According to Fox News, Limbeaugh died on February 17, 2021. He learned he had he had Stage IV lung cancer in January 2020, Fox reported.
The talk radio host was 70-years-old.
In October 2020, Limbaugh said on his show, according to CBS42, “You know, I wake up every day and thank God that I did. I go to bed every night praying I’m gonna wake up. I don’t know how many of you do that, those of you who are not sick, those of you who are not facing something like I and countless other millions are.”
According to CNBC, he was on the air until February 2.
3. Limbaugh Realized He Had Cancer After Struggling With Shortness of Breath, He Revealed on His Radio Show
You can read the transcript of Limbaugh’s cancer announcement here.
Here’s some of what he said at the time he shared the diagnosis with his listeners:
Ladies and gentlemen, this… This day has been one of the most difficult days in recent memory for me because I’ve known this moment was coming in the program today. Now, I’m sure that you all know by now, I really don’t like talking about myself, and I don’t like making things about me other than in the usual satirical, parodic, joking way.
I like this program to be about you and the things that matter to all of us. The one thing that I know that has happened over the 31-plus years of this program is that there has been an incredible bond that has developed between all of you and me. Now, this program’s 31 years old, and in that 31 years, there are people — you hear them call all the time — who have been listening the whole time. They’ve been listening 30 years or 25 years.
I just had somebody say they’ve been here three years. But, whatever, it is a family-type relationship to me, and I’ve mentioned to you that this program and this job is what has provided me the greatest satisfaction and happiness that I’ve ever experienced, more than I ever thought that I would experience. So I have to tell you something today that I wish I didn’t have to tell you.
It’s a struggle for me because I had to inform my staff earlier today. I can’t escape… Even though people are telling me it’s not the way to look at it, I can’t help but feel that I’m letting everybody down with this. But the upshot is that I have been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, diagnosis confirmed by two medical institutions back on January 20th. I first realized something was wrong on my birthday weekend, January 12th.
I wish I didn’t have to tell you this, and I thought about not telling anybody. I thought about trying to do this without anybody knowing, ’cause I don’t like making things about me. But there are going to be days that I’m not gonna be able to be here because I’m undergoing treatment or I’m reacting to treatment, and I know that that would inspire all kinds of curiosity with people wondering what’s going on…
Limbaugh explained his symptoms.
What led to shortness of breath that I thought might have been asthma or — you know, I’m 69 — it could have been my heart. My heart’s in great shape, ticking away fine, squeezing and pumping great. It was not that. It was a pulmonary problem involving malignancy. So I’m gonna be gone the next couple days as we figure out the treatment course of action and have further testing done. But, as I said, I’m gonna be here as often as I can.
And, as is the case with everybody who finds themselves in this circumstance, you just want to push ahead and try to keep everything as normal as you can, which is something that I’m going to try to do. But I felt that I had to tell you because that’s the kind of relationship I feel like I have with those of you in this audience. I say it every Christmas, which is when I feel more thankful than at Thanksgiving.
4. Conservatives Offered Tributes to Limbaugh
Tributes flowed in for Limbaugh from the conservative world.
U.S. Senator Rand Paul wrote on Twitter, “RIP to a legend and a patriot, Rush Limbaugh. Not many people can say they revolutionized and stayed at the top of an industry the way he did. My condolences to his family.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wrote, “.@FLCaseyDeSantis and I are saddened to learn of the passing of fellow Floridian and our friend, Rush Limbaugh.” He wrote that “Rush busted through a media landscape in which a handful of media outlets served up pre-cooked, liberal narratives.”
Limbaugh was a controversial figure, of course, earning the score of those who did not agree with his political views.
5. Limbaugh’s Love of Radio Dated to Childhood
According to CNBC, Rush Hudson Limbaugh III “was born Jan. 12, 1951, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. His father and grandfather were lawyers. The grandfather was given the name Rush to honor a relative, Edna Rush.”
He wanted to be on the radio since he was a child, Biography.com reported, quoting him as saying, “I would take this up to my bedroom and play records and play DJ … to the house, and my mother and dad would sit down and listen to me. … The quality was horrible, but I was on the radio.”
He got his start as a DJ on a station owned by his father.
READ NEXT: The Death of William O’Neal, FBI Informant.