The host of the nationally syndicated The Rush Limbaugh Show, author of 7 books and the premiere and impassioned voice of the conservative movement in the United States since the 1990s passed away today. He discussed his battle with lung cancer over the course of the last year during his live broadcasts, frequently thanking his listeners for their support throughout his career and in these last months. Over his almost 50 year career in broadcasting, Limbaugh received the Marconi Award 5 times and was inducted into both the National Radio Hall of Fame and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Most recently, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom during the 2020 State of the Union Address by President Donald Trump.
Limbaugh hailed from Cape Girardeau, Missouri where he began his career in radio at age 20 as a deejay. In the late 1970s, then on-air in Kansas City, Missouri, he began to develop his talk style. After disagreement with KFIX management in 1979, Limbaugh worked in group sales for the Kansas City Royals baseball team and became director of group sales and special events. In 1983 Limbaugh returned to Kansas City radio, eventually moving on to Sacramento, California replacing Morton Downey, Jr. It was after the 1987 repeal of the Fairness Doctrine by the FCC—which required stations provide free air time for responses to any controversial opinions broadcast— that Limbaugh began to emerge on the national scene as a significant conservative talk voice. He joined WABC-AM New York in 1988 and his national profile continued to grow through radio syndication, a tv show (1992-96) and the books he authored. He founded the Excellence in Broadcasting (EIB) Network in 1990 with Edward McLaughlin, former president of ABC. The show was ultimately sold to Clear Channel Communications and is distributed by Premiere Networks. Limbaugh maintained majority ownership of The Rush Limbaugh Show. Dominating radio news/talk formats and streams, accessible on his website and broadcast on American Forces Network (AFN), Limbaugh was arguably the most listened to voice in the world. He also ranked as one of the highest paid personalities in radio.
The Rush Limbaugh Show has been on-air live on WBRN Big Rapids for more than 20 years.