H. R. "Kit" Carson
| Christopher James Carson|
(Chief of staff to radio commentator Rush Limbaugh)
|Born|| January 15, 1959 |
|Died|| January 26, 2015 (aged 56) |
Maplewood, Essex County
|Spouse|| Theresa Lemieux Carson|
Christopher James Carson, sometimes known as H. R. "Kit" Carson (January 15, 1958 – January 26, 2015), was the producer and then chief of staff for commentator Rush Limbaugh's syndicated daily radio program, which airs nationwide at noon Eastern Time.
Born and reared in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, Carson graduated with a degree in communications from Indiana University in Indianapolis, Indiana. He aspired to become an actor. Tall with reddish hair, Japanese tourists occasionally mistook him for actor Conan O'Brien. Limbaugh jokingly called Carson "H. R." in reference to Harry Robbins "Bob" Haldeman (1926-1993), the hard-nosed chief of staff to former U.S. President Richard M. Nixon who was known by his first two initials.
Carson joined the program in 1988 to answer mail and to screen telephone calls. Carson was working in the same building as Limbaugh's syndicator when he was offered a job on the radio program, the first conservative national talk show, with an uncertain future. "Rush very quickly took a liking to him. His ability to say 'yes' or 'no' quickly earned the trust of the host because Kit's instincts proved to be right. That led from a part-time to full-time job, which led to leading the production," recalled Kraig Kitchen, another radio executive.
Carson was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, but it had been in remission until it returned in 2014. He died at his Maplewood, New Jersey, home and was survived by his wife, the former Theresa Lemiux, and two sons, John "Jack" Carson and Jesse Carson. Limbaugh recalled that Carson was "a special human being. When the program debuted in 1988, nobody had any idea if it was gonna work. And we had made no plans initially for it to get big [but] the program took off faster and bigger than anybody had planned. So the phone started ringing and mail started coming in, and things needed to be dealt with." Limbaugh referred to Carson as apolitical and for a time he even considered Limbaugh "a lunatic." But the two struck up a friendship, and Carson became one of Limbaugh's most trusted confidantes.
Limbaugh said that Carson "did not allow me to be pessimistic or negative. He didn't allow me to get down in the dumps about anything. I was thinking about it last night. I can't remember a time when he complained about things. You know how often people complain? Oh, my God. People complain all the time. People manipulate, try to manipulate you all the time. That's nothing unique to me. He never did. ... Never undermined anybody."
- Christopher Carson obituary. The Neward Star-Ledge (January 28, 2015). Retrieved on June 1, 2018.
- Rush Limbaugh's 'Chief of Staff' Christopher Carson Dies. Hollywoodreporter.com (January 27, 2015). Retrieved on June 1, 2018.
- Christopher James "Kit" Carson. Old.findagrave.com. Retrieved on June 2, 2018.