Last modified on December 8, 2022, at 03:50

Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh
RushLimbaugh 1.jpg

Born January 12, 1951
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Died Feburary 17, 2021
Palm Beach, Florida
Spouse Roxy Maxine McNeely (div.)
Michelle Sixta (div.)
Marta Fitzgerald (div.)
Kathryn Rogers
Religion United Methodist[1]

Rush Hudson Limbaugh III (January 12, 1951 - February 17, 2021) was an American radio talk show host popular with an older, largely male, audience. Married and divorced three times — subsequently married for the fourth time — Limbaugh participated in the media bullying of Todd Akin in August 2012, along with other RINO Backers.[2][3] President Donald Trump awarded him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2020. Rush is buried in a cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.[4]

Limbaugh has claimed that his radio show reaches 20 million listeners, but at least one analyst estimates that perhaps only about 1.4 million listeners are tuning into his show at any given time.[5]

Limbaugh's show has been described by a conservative publication as "lowbrow conservatism" and a "carny barker."[6] Talk radio has likely interfered with growth in the conservative movement among young people, and it is difficult to identify a single conservative achievement attributable to Limbaugh. Since Limbaugh's radio show became associated nationally with the Republican Party about 25 years ago, Republicans have won the popular vote in only one presidential election.

Rush Limbaugh's show was advertiser supported, which can create a financial incentive for him not to say what needs to be said, and not to stand up for the Bible in a meaningful manner. In February 2020, Rush announced on his radio show that he had been diagnosed with Lung cancer. He died on February 17, 2021 due to lung cancer.

Early Years

Rush Hudson Limbaugh III was born in 1951 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. At age 16, he chose to explore his passion for broadcasting by working as a disc jockey, hosting a radio show in his hometown. After four years, he left for Pittsburgh to work for the former ABC owned and operated KQV, where he used the on-air name "Jeff Christie". Following his work as a disc jockey, Rush briefly left broadcasting for business, joining the Kansas City Royals as Director of Group Sales, and then Director of Sales and Special Events. In 1983, he re-entered radio as a political commentator for KMBZ in Kansas City. A year later, in 1984, Rush dropped out of college after his freshman year to pursue work full-time as a disk jockey, when KFBK in Sacramento, California hired him to host a talk show that reveled in controversy about conservative politics. Limbaugh tripled the program's ratings in four years. From there, in 1988 he went on to New York where the record-breaking national show, the EIB Network, was born.

On August 1, 1988, Rush launched his phenomenally successful radio broadcast into national syndication, with fifty-six radio stations. More than twenty years later the show is heard on nearly six hundred stations by some 20 million people each week and is the highest-rated national radio talk show in America. Rush was awarded the "Syndicated Radio Personality" of the year by the National Association of Broadcasters in 1992, 1995, 2000, and 2005. He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1993 and National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1998. Rush Limbaugh has been labeled as the savior of AM radio by broadcast industry leaders, sometimes called the "Doctor of Democracy."[7]

From the start until 2015, Limbaugh relied heavily on his producer, whom he called his "chief of staff", H. R. "Kit" Carson. Carson's death of cancer at the age of fifty-six was a terrific blow to Limbaugh.


Limbaugh hosted a radio show famed for its incisive criticism of the follies of liberalism. He was often the target of liberal's ad hominem attacks, such as Democrat former U.S. Senator Al Franken, who wrote a book entitled "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot". Limbaugh generically referred to feminists who advocate abortion as feminazis and to his own self as having "talent on loan from God". Sensitive about his own schooling, he ridiculed the college educated as the "Arts & Croissant Crowd."

Limbaugh's conservative talk show was nationally syndicated and averaged over 16-20 million listeners weekly, making him the #1 radio talk show host in America [8] for three decades. In July 2008, Rush announced "he has renewed his contract with Premiere Radio Networks and Clear Channel Radio, continuing syndication of his show 'many years into the future.'" [9]


Limbaugh's fans enjoyed his bluster and bombast, but behind it there was a substantive defense of a coherent political philosophy. He made politics engaging and entertaining, producing an audience more eager to seek out other sources of information. Limbaugh "dittoheads" consumed more print news than did non-listeners. Like Fox News viewers, Limbaugh fans were more likely to tune in to presidential debates. Far from making people cynical or indifferent toward public affairs, Limbaugh reinforced his audience's disposition to participate in the political process.[10]

Conservative Republicans were in his audience, but educational attainment, family income, and race did not predict who listens. Listening to Limbaugh was significantly correlated with public affairs information. He was not merely an entertainer and people who listen to him regularly were very well informed on public affairs. However, his radio audience was smaller than the TV audiences of conservative commentators Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity.[11]

Poking fun at Obama liberals

Newsweek editor Evan Thomas said on MSNBC's "Hardball" that Obama was "sort of God."

Asking rhetorically what God has in common with Obama, Limbaugh said, "Neither has a birth certificate." [12] He went on to say "God does not think he's Obama," and "Liberals love Obama." Limbaugh explained more differences, "Another difference is that God only demands to be worshiped once a week," and "God asks for only 10 percent of your money", and "God gives you freedom to live your life as you choose."

Obama to Fail

Limbaugh made national headlines when he was asked to write 400 words for a newspaper column about Obama's plans. He said he didn't need 400 words, he needed just four: "I hope he fails." He was immediately attacked by the Obama White House and liberal pundits as an unpatriotic obstructionist. Limbaugh expounded his view in the show's transcript; if Obama is for socialist policies and against capitalist policies, of course Limbaugh could not support those policies, and hoped he would fail.[13]

Limbaugh addressed CPAC and further discussed his stance that generated so much attention.[14]

"Did the Democrats want the war in Iraq to fail? Well, they certainly did. And they not only wanted the war in Iraq to fail, they proclaimed it a failure. ... The last thing they wanted was to win. They hoped George Bush failed. So where is it -- what is so strange about being honest and saying, I want Barack Obama to fail if his mission is to restructure and reform this country so that capitalism and individual liberty are not its foundation? Why would I want that to succeed?"

Former Republican National Chairman Michael Steele called Limbaugh an "entertainer" whose comments were "incendiary" and "ugly," and Limbaugh counterattacked Steele's fitness to run the party. A Gallup poll in May 2009 on who was the main voice of the GOP found Limbaugh leading the pack at 13%, with Steele trailing at 1%.

Other Media Work

During the early years of his radio show, Limbaugh also had a syndicated, self-titled half-hour television show patterned along the lines of his radio show. Rush Limbaugh ran from 1992 to 1996.[15]

The Limbaugh Letter is a monthly publication that contains conservative articles and humor in Rush's style.

Limbaugh guest starred as himself in the Family Guy episode “Excellence in Broadcasting” in 2010.

Limbaugh is involved in the conservative satire show The 1/2 Hour News Hour show on the Fox News Channel.[16]

Rush occasionally writes op-ed pieces for the Wall Street Journal.


Limbaugh endorsed Mitt Romney for the 2008 Presidential Election.[17] He was often critical of John McCain during the Republican primaries, but supported him in the general election.

Limbaugh has warned against false prophets, telling his audience in 1996 that, "You are being manipulated in a way that I find very bothersome." "Pat Buchanan is not a conservative. He's a populist.".[18]

The Harry Reid Letter

On October 2, 2007, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wrote a letter to Mark P. Mays, President and CEO of Clear Channel Communications, who is Limbaugh's chief patron. In it, Senator Reid essentially demanded that Mays order Limbaugh to apologize for remarks he made concerning "phony soldiers."[19] A phony soldier is someone who is not a soldier at all but is pretending to be one, especially in a public forum. Such activity is unlawful, and the faker whose activity prompted Limbaugh's attacks has since been convicted and punished.[20] This letter was co-signed by nearly all Democrat senators. In a speech in Philadelphia on October 11, Limbaugh announced plans to sell the original letter on eBay in a charity auction. The proceeds went to the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation. The letter sold for $2.1 million and Limbaugh matched the winning amount with a total of $4.2 million being donated.[21]

Victim of a Democrat prosecutor's witchhunt

On October 6, 2003, Limbaugh told his audience he was addicted to OxyContin and other painkillers citing a failed back surgery as the cause of his pain and subsequent dependence.[22][23] Limbaugh underwent treatment for his addiction, and charges against him for alleged "doctor shopping" to procure prescription medications were dropped[24] after Democrat prosecutors illegally seized private medical records[25] in a blatant misuse of the criminal justice system to discredit Limbaugh.

Fluke Incident

In March 2012, Sandra Fluke, a 30-year-old former Georgetown law student, gave testimony in support of an Obama directive to have private healthcare cover contraception. Fluke chose Georgetown's law school despite knowing that its healthcare plan does not cover contraception,[26] but she then complained that contraception was expensive and that Georgetown's student health insurance should cover the cost. Limbaugh responded to her comments on his show where he said that her insurance paying for her to have sex made her a "slut" and a "prostitute."[27] He later went on to say that he would agree to the payment if she would film herself having sex and put the video online. After several days of backlash, which included condemnations from both parties and advertisers backing out, Limbaugh apologized, saying he "did not mean a personal attack" on Fluke and had used poor word choice but reiterated his opposition to her comments.[28][29]

Media bullying of Todd Akin

Congressman Todd Akin was the Republican Party nominee for one of the most-watched races for the U.S. Senate in 2012. He has represented a portion of the greater St. Louis, Missouri area in the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013 (Missouri's 2nd congressional district).

On August 19, 2012, in a local television interview with KTVI, Akin rejected a suggestion that there should be a broad rape exception to limits on abortion. He distinguished between an actual rape and a false allegation of rape by referring to the former as a "legitimate rape," terminology that the liberal media then unfairly took out of context to engage in demagoguery against him.

Perhaps fearful of losing an advertiser, even though he's already made millions by pretending to be conservative, Limbaugh piled on with the media bullying against Akin. He called Akin's comment "stupid" and then, illustrating his foolish self-centeredness, declared that "If I had demanded Akin drop out, he’d be gone."[2] Limbaugh added, "What I think Mr. Akin should try to realize here as he makes his decision is that all of these things that he truly cares about will be much easier to make happen if we win the Senate and the White House and hold the House this November. He must put the nation and its future ahead of everything else that he's considering. And I hope he comes to the right conclusion."[3]

True conservatives stood with principle and defended Akin's remarks, and his right to remain in the race.[30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38]


Limbaugh is an avid sports fan, particularly football. He briefly held a position as a commentator on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown pre-game show. He resigned from the show on October 2, 2006, after comments made regarding Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb received widespread criticism.

"I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."

After McNabb's response, "It's sad that you've got to go to skin color. I thought we were through with that whole deal," significant pressure was put upon Limbaugh to resign.[39]


  • The Way Things Ought to Be (1992)[40]
  • See, I Told You So (1993)[41]
  • Rush Revere series:
    • Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims (2013)[42]
    • Rush Revere and the First Patriots (2014)[43]
    • Rush Revere and the American Revolution (2014)[44]
    • Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner (2015)[45]
    • Rush Revere and the Presidency (2016)[46]

Other Facts

The following is a list of other facts about Rush Limbaugh:[7]


  • "You know why there's a Second Amendment? In case the government fails to follow the first one." - Rush Limbaugh, 17 Aug 1993
  • "Militant feminists are pro-choice because it's their ultimate avenue of power over men. And believe me, to them it is a question of power. It is their attempt to impose their will on the rest of society, particularly on men." - Rush Limbaugh, Oct 1992

The Rush Limbaugh Lexicon

Like Mark Levin and others, Rush Limbaugh holds a lexicon for many liberals and Democrats, although Rush's lexicon is less expansive as Mark Levin's


  1. Philip Wingeier-Rayo: Rush Limbaugh, Church Division and the Future of the United States of America
  2. 2.0 2.1
  3. 3.0 3.1
  7. 7.0 7.1 Rush Limbaugh, the "Doctor of Democracy",
  8. The Top Talk Radio Audiences Talkers magazine online
  9. Rush Renews Contract, Human Events, July 2, 2008
  10. Jamieson and Cappella (2008)
  11. Stephen Earl Bennett, " Who Listens to Rush Limbaugh's Radio Program and the Relationship Between Listening to Limbaugh and Knowledge of Public Affairs, 1994-2006," Journal of Radio & Audio Media, May 2009, Vol. 16 Issue 1, p66-82, in EBSCO
  12. Rush Limbaugh pummels Obama on birth certificate WND, June 10, 2009
  13. Limbaugh radio show transcript.
  14. Limbaugh the Leader? Obama Chief of Staff Fox News, March 01, 2009
  15. Rush Limbaugh (TV series) at the Internet Movie Database
  16. Fox News Channel's '1/2 Hour News Hour': Right Funny, in Spots
  17. Limbaugh Endorses Romney, Melanie Hunter, CNSNews, February 05, 2008
  18. See Robin Toner, "Radio Talk Show Host Fears For True Conservatism's Fate," New York Times Feb. 23, 1996
  19. Reid, Harry, et al. "Letter to Mark P. Mays of Clear Channel Communications." Electronic Office of US Senator Harry Reid, October 2, 2007. Retrieved October 19, 2007.
  20. Limbaugh, Rush. "The Anatomy of a Smear: 'Phony Soldiers' Is a Phony Story." Rush Limbaugh Official Site, accessed December 25, 2007.
  22. The Rush Limbaugh Show, October 6, 2007.
  23. "Limbaugh admits addiction to pain medication"
  26. Holt, Mytheos. "Sandra Fluke: A Fake Victim of Georgetown's Policy on Contraceptives?" March 3, 2012. The Blaze.
  27.,0,6854957.story Rush Limbaugh apologizes for 'slut' remarks aimed at Sandra Fluke
  28. 'I sincerely apologise': Rush Limbaugh says sorry for calling student a 'slut' in row over birth control which led advertisers to boycott show
  29. What?? Rush Limbaugh actually apologized!!
  34. Rand Paul reticent to weigh in on Akin's future but says Akin's comment was incorrect by Ryan Alessi,, August 22, 2012, retrieved August 24, 2012

See also

Further reading

  • Gordon, Scott. Rush Limbaugh: An Oral & Media Biography (2009). 258pp quotes and comments by his friends and enemies.
  • Jamieson, Kathleen Hall, and Joseph N. Cappella. Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment (2008) balanced analysis by scholars; compares Limbaugh with Fox and Wall Street Journal excerpt and text search

External links